SINGAPORE - A 33-year-old man took advantage of his position in the family to repeatedly molest his wife's sister and teenage cousin, sometimes in the presence of other family members.
The former Changi Airport auxiliary policeman was sentenced to 11 months' jail, three strokes of the cane and a $1,000 fine on Wednesday for molesting the two women over a span of two years.
He pleaded guilty to three charges of outraging modesty and one of insulting modesty. Three other charges of outraging modesty were taken into consideration.
He had repeatedly groped his sister-in-law, an administrative assistant who was dating his younger brother.
When the family stayed overnight at an East Coast chalet in October 2013 to celebrate his daughter's first birthday, he waited until the 28-year-old was asleep before sliding his hand into her clothes to touch her breast and genitals.
Both his daughter and the victim's four-year-old daughter were lying between them, but this did not deter him from reaching over them to commit the act. The victim swept his hand away but said nothing.
When the family returned to the chalet in January 2014 for another celebration, the culprit again waited for nightfall to fondle the victim's breast as she lay sleeping beside his brother. The victim woke up and again struck his hand .
In 2012, he also ambushed his wife's teenage cousin, whose family was living with his in a Bukit Panjang flat.
A court heard that as the 16-year-old student left her bedroom, the accused suddenly smacked her buttock with his hand. The victim fled to the far side of a dining table and demanded to know what he was doing.
He persisted in asking to touch her buttock although she rejected his advances; finally she left the house out of fear.
Later that year, the culpritcaught a glimpse of the teenager changing in her bedroom late at night, and sent her a text saying that he had seen her butt twice. She deleted the message immediately when she saw it.
Neither the culprit nor his two victims can be named to protect the latter's identities.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Kee called for a sentence of no less than 12 months' jail and three strokes of the cane, saying the accused's offences were "an abuse of trust", as he had committed the acts on members of his extended family over an extended period of time.
For each count of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of his victims, the culprit could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or sentenced to any combination of the above.
For insulting the modesty of his wife's cousin, he could have been jailed up to one year, fined, or both.