17 years and 24 strokes for step-father who groomed and sexually exploited 12-year-old

For a whole year, the 43-year-old man groomed and sexually exploited his teenage step-daughter. -- PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS
For a whole year, the 43-year-old man groomed and sexually exploited his teenage step-daughter. -- PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - For a whole year, the 43-year-old man groomed and sexually exploited his step-daughter.

He would buy the 12-year-old gifts and reward her with "pocket money" each time she performed sexual acts, such as oral sex, on him.

On Thursday, the after-sales manager was sentenced 17 years in prison and 24 strokes of the cane.

He had pleaded guilty to to five charges under the Penal Code. A further 10 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

His offences ranged from outrage of modesty to the sexual penetration of a minor.

In its statement of facts to the Court, the prosecution pointed out that the Singaporean man had struck up a relationship with the victim when she moved into his Ang Mo Kio flat in 2009.

Her mother and younger brother were also living there.

At first, the primary school student did not take to her step-father but their relations warmed after about three years.

She called him "Daddy", and he would tell her to to keep the sexual acts a secret, said the prosecution.

Together with the girl, the man would watch pornographic movies on his laptop.

On one occasion in 2013, the man took the girl out for a movie. Later, when they arrived home, he made her lie on his bed and touched her sexually.

Afterward, he put on a condom, and despite protests, tried to rape her.

This happened at least twice, but he did not succeed due to sexual problems..

On another occasion, he took the girl to his office. Nobody was around, and he forced her to give him oral sex.

Every time she performed a sexual act, he would tell her it was a way to show her love, and that it made him feel "high and warm".

If she protested, he would threaten not to give her pocket money.

His crimes came to light only after the girl stole her classmate's wallet in October 2013.

She was caught and apologised for the offence, but when her classmate asked her why she did it, the girl said it was because her step-father made her do "dirty things" and would not give her pocket money if she refused.

That night, the girl told her mother what happened, but because it was late at night, her mother did not confront the accused.

The classmate told their form teacher the next day about the sexual abuse. The school later contacted Child Protection Services which took the girl into their care, and she lodged a police report.

On Thursday, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said the man had "corrupted" his daughter, preying on her "naivety and impressionable mind with the lure of gifts".

He said a stiff sentence was warranted because he had to take into account possible long-term emotional and psychological harm.

"Instead of acting as a father figure to nurture, guide and protect, you have systematically exploited her sexually, in a degrading and depraved fashion," said the judge.

dansonc@sph.com.sg