SINGAPORE - A 53-year-old man, who preyed on his stepdaughter's curiosity about sexual matters and groomed her into repeatedly having sex with him when she was 13, was sentenced to 26 years' jail for rape on Thursday (June 25).
The girl gave birth to a son when she was 14. The police investigated the matter then because she was a minor, but she disclosed only that she had sex with her boyfriend to protect her stepfather.
She had two other children, fathered by different men, by the time she was 18.
During a quarrel with her mother over her sexual activity, the girl revealed that it was her stepfather who "made her like this".
Stunned, the woman made her husband and daughter promise not to have sex any more and not to reveal this to others.
The girl eventually made a police report after being urged to do so by a child protection officer, but even then indicated her intention to protect her stepfather, the High Court heard.
The man, who cannot be named because of a gag order to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape. Six other charges, one for rape and five for sexual penetration of a minor, were taken into consideration.
The court heard that in 2013, when the girl was in Secondary 1, her classmates were discussing about sex and she became curious about the subject.
Back home, she shared her curiosity with her stepfather, who replied that she would have to experience it for herself to know about it.
He then asked if she wanted to have sex with him. She initially rejected him, saying she was still a child and that she was concerned about getting pregnant.
However, he assured her that he would use a condom.
He then took her on his electric bicycle to a block that was going to be demolished and had sex with her in an empty flat.
After the first rape, he told her to search for pornographic videos online to learn how to perform oral sex.
Between January and August 2013, he took her to different isolated locations to rape her.
This included the staircase landing of the highest floor of an apartment block, as well as flats where people were moving out due to impending demolition.
He also used his mobile phone to take photographs and videos of the sex acts.
To prevent his wife from coming across the recordings, he would remove the storage card from his phone.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lim told the court: "It became the norm for the victim to engage in sexual intercourse with the accused. He would always initiate intercourse and she would not turn him down."
In August 2013, after he found out that she had sex with her boyfriend, he told her he was no longer interested in sex with her as she was "dirty".
About a month later, when she found out she was pregnant, he told her not to tell anyone about their sexual activities.
He also made her take pineapple juice and tapai, or fermented rice, over three days, hoping to induce a miscarriage.
The girl, who told her mother that her child was her boyfriend's, gave birth in 2014.
Two years later, she had a second child with another boyfriend.
She gave birth to a third child, a daughter, in February 2018.
In May 2018, when she took the baby to the hospital for a check-up, a child protection officer asked about the paternity of her first child. She replied that she had sex with her stepfather in 2013.
The officer told the girl, who was with her mother, to make a police report but they were reluctant to do so.
Later that month, the officer approached the girl at her block and persuaded her to report the matter.
A DNA test confirmed that the stepfather was the father of the girl's first child.
On Thursday, the DPP sought least 26 years' jail for the man, given the premeditation involved in the rapes and other degrading sexual acts committed on a vulnerable victim who trusted him and whom he impregnated.
"Her childhood was completely robbed," said the DPP.
Defence counsel Ashwin Ganapathy conceded that the case was egregious, but argued for a 22-year term. He said his client was sorry for what he had done and had confessed even before paternity was confirmed.