SINGAPORE - After being molested by her father while in bed, a 14-year-old girl was left feeling so "disturbed and embarrassed" that she did not dare tell anyone about it.
It was only when her teacher referred her to a school counsellor that her ordeal came to light, and the 52-year-old father was arrested.
On Tuesday (May 21) the man, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect his daughter's identity, was jailed for 16 months after pleading guilty to one count of outraging his daughter's modesty.
A second charge for molestation involving the same girl was considered during sentencing.
The girl lived with her parents in a flat in north-eastern Singapore, where she shared a queen-sized bed with her father.
He first molested the teenager in January last year, when he groped her chest.
Two months later, he touched her private parts while she was half-asleep.
In front of District Judge Ng Cheng Thiam, Deputy Public Prosecutor Seah Ee Wei said: "Feeling afraid and uncomfortable, the victim turned to her side, with her back facing the accused, hoping that the accused would cease his actions."
Undeterred, the man rubbed himself against her.
The DPP said: "After some time, when the victim was unable to endure it any longer, the victim sat up with her back facing the accused and pretended that she had just been woken up by some movements and did not know what had happened. The accused also pretended that nothing had taken place. They both left the bed."
The court heard that the incident left the teenager "disturbed and embarrassed".
However, she was afraid to confront her father and did not dare to tell her mother about her ordeal for fear that she may not believe her.
Left shaken by what her father had done, the teenager found it difficult to concentrate in school and a teacher who noticed a change in her behaviour referred her to a counsellor.
An officer from Ministry of Social and Family Development then took her to the police to file a report.
DPP Seah urged the court to sentence the man to at least 14 months' jail. He said: "As the victim's father, the accused ought to have been a protective figure to the victim... Yet, he exploited this trust by seizing the opportunity to touch her private parts when he thought she was asleep."
Defence lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy said in his mitigation plea that his client had difficulties controlling his sexual urges as he was addicted to pornography.
The lawyer told the court: "It is reasonable to infer that his addiction may have had a part to play in the commission of his offences."
Anyone found guilty of molestation can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned. The man cannot be caned as he is over 50.