SINGAPORE - When he returned home after a drinking session with his friends, a 44-year-old man crawled into bed with his then nine-year-old daughter and molested her.
The girl, who was awoken by her father rubbing his genitals against her, kept quiet because she too afraid to do anything.
The father was on Monday (Dec 16) sentenced to one year and nine months' jail, as well as three strokes of the cane.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of using criminal force against a person under 14 years of age with the intention to outrage the person's modesty.
The father cannot be named due to a gag order.
Court documents state that sometime before May 2018, the father returned home after drinking with his friends in the evening. He entered the victim's room in order to retrieve some clothes from a shared wardrobe and noticed the victim asleep on the bed.
The father then laid down on the bed and hugged her from behind. Feeling sexually aroused, he proceeded to molest her.
According to court documents, the father performed the same acts on at least two other occasions between May and September last year.
The court learnt that the victim had been awoken by the acts during each incident. She realised it was her father who was performing the acts, and kept quiet, as she was frightened.
The victim was also afraid of reporting the incidents to her mother, as she did not want her parents to quarrel.
She eventually alerted her mother sometime in August 2018.
The victim told her mother that some of her male classmates had joked about male and female private parts coming into contact with one another, and mentioned that this was "something like daddy did to me". She went on to describe the incidents to her mother.
The mother then sought help from the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) on her marriage issues and informed them that the victim had been molested by the father.
Aware subsequently notified the Ministry of Social and Family Development, which in turn lodged a report with the police.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yong urged the court on Monday to sentence the father to at least one year and 11 months' imprisonment and three strokes of the cane, noting that there was "significant abuse of trust" and "repeated instances of sexual exploitation".
In mitigation, defence lawyer Mr T. M. Sinnadurai said that the father had not committed any previous offences, and was remorseful for his actions.
Mr Sinnadurai also read out a plea by the victim's mother for leniency, in which she stated that the father had treated his daughter well all along, and that the incidents did not reflect "his true character".
For using criminal force against a person under 14 years of age with the intention to outrage the person's modesty, the father could have been punished with a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, a fine and caning.