Jail and caning for man who molested 13-year-old daughter

A man who repeatedly molested his then 13-year-old daughter in 2016 and 2017 was sentenced yesterday to five years' jail with 12 strokes of the cane.

The 47-year-old Filipino pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three counts of molestation.

Two other similar charges involving the same girl were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The Singapore permanent resident cannot be named as the court has imposed a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

In their submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutors Daphne Lim and Stephanie Koh said the man had exploited his position of authority and trust.

They added: "On each occasion, the victim... felt pain and discomfort during the sexual assault. She did not react as she did not know what to do and essentially suffered in silence, which the accused took advantage of by abusing her again and again.

"This must have caused the victim a great deal of distress and feelings of helplessness. She could not even confide in her mother as she did not know how to break the news to her."

In November 2016, the man thought his daughter was asleep in their home when he crept towards the girl and molested her.

The girl was actually awake and aware of what her father was doing, but she did not know how to react. He left the room a few minutes later.

He preyed on her again in July 2017, when she fell asleep in a bedroom they were in. This time, she was jolted awake. Despite this, he continued molesting her before walking away.

DPP Koh said: "Throughout the incident, the victim was awake but did not react, as she did not know what to do."

He struck again later the same month, the court heard.

On July 27 that year, the girl finally spoke about her ordeal to a school counsellor, who alerted the Child Protective Service (CPS).

The girl made a police report later that day. The CPS then arranged for her to be removed from her parents' care, and she was placed in a home for young people.

She was later placed in the care of a foster family.

At her mother's request, she was allowed to visit relatives in the Philippines during the school holidays in June 2018.

The girl has not returned to Singapore since.

For each count of molestation, her father could have been jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2020, with the headline 'Jail and caning for man who molested 13-year-old daughter'. Print Edition | Subscribe