SINGAPORE - A senior engineer molested his 10-year-old daughter who only reported him to the police six years later after he did it again overseas in 2013, a district court heard.
The 46-year-old Singaporean, who faced three charges, admitted on Monday (Jan 23) to two charges of outraging the modesty of his daughter at their flat in Sembawang in 2009.
A third charge of pinning her against the wall and kissing her neck was taken into consideration in sentencing.
On Tuesday (Jan 24), he was sentenced to two years' jail and six strokes of the cane.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling said the family, who migrated here from the Philippines in 2005, slept in the same bedroom. The victim's bed was perpendicular to her parents' double bed.
Sometime in 2009, the victim was sleeping when she felt a pressure on her private area. She woke up and saw her father touching her. She was shocked and confused. He told her not to tell her mother.
On another night, the accused tickled her until she turned to face him. He then rubbed himself against her. She felt afraid and outraged.
The girl recounted the incidents to her mother, now 45, who in turn told the accused off. The incidences of molest subsided, and he stopped behaving inappropriately against the girl for some time.
But in December 2013, during a visit to the Philippines, he molested her again at night. She was upset and cried the entire night.
She told her maternal relatives who encouraged her to lodge a police report. But her mother persuaded her to do so only after her O-level examinations, as the family was financially dependent on the accused.
The victim later told her school counsellor that she was fearful of living with her father under the same roof, especially when she was left alone with him at home.
The girl, now 17, made a police report on Nov 19, 2015, stating that her father had been molesting her since 2009.
DPP Chee said in her sentencing submissions that the accused's abuse of trust and authority over his own daughter over a period of time should be viewed with disapprobation, and that a harsher sentence should be meted out.
"Instead of protecting and caring for her, the accused abused this authority by sexually assaulting her,'' she said.
District Judge Lorraine Ho said no child should be made to go through such physical abuse and mental torture.
"The acts were also not fleeting touches but were of sufficient duration, prolonging the victim's agony,'' she said.
Turning to the accused, she said she hoped he would get the appropriate treatment in prison, and that he would go on a path to mend his relationship with his family thereafter.
The maximum punishment for molesting a person under 14 years old is five years' jail, a fine, caning or any combined punishment on each charge.