SINGAPORE - A 22-year-old intellectually disabled man on Tuesday (June 7) pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of attempted rape - of trying to have sex with his stepniece, then aged four, in 2012.
The man, who cannot be named under a court order, was 18 years old at the time of the offence. He was studying at a special-needs school while working as porter.
The court heard that the man had lived with his stepfather in a two-room HDB flat since his mother remarried in July 2011.
In January 2012, the stepfather's daughter and her daughter - the victim - moved into the flat as well. The girl's mother treated the man as her own brother and the girl called him "uncle", the court heard.
One evening in February 2012, the man and the girl were watching TV in the living room while the girl's mother and a friend were in the kitchen.
The girl, who wanted to play with her uncle, climbed on him and sat on him. This turned him on. He lay her down and tried to have sex with her but did not succeed.
The girl pulled up her shorts and underwear and ran to the kitchen, crying and telling her mother that her uncle "kacau" ("disturb" in Malay). Her mother assumed they had merely been playing and told the girl that if she wanted to play, she should not be crying.
In the days that followed, the girl complained of pain in her genital area. Her mother initially assumed she had hurt herself while playing but when the pain persisted, she sought medical help on March 1. The National University Hospital reported the case to the police.
The man was arrested at the flat the next day and admitted to sexually assaulting the girl as he was feeling "horny". After his arrest, he was assessed to have an IQ score of 61, but was aware that his act was wrong.
Following the offence, the girl had difficulty sleeping. She disliked hearing the man's name and described him as "bad" as he had caused her pain, the court heard.
The case was adjourned to July for the accused to be assessed on whether he has paedophilic tendencies, as well his risk of re-offending.
A second charge of attempted rape of his 13-year-old girlfriend will be taken into consideration during sentencing. The maximum punishment for attempted rape is 10 years' jail and caning or a fine.