Man convicted of sexually assaulting and molesting daughter when she was a minor

SINGAPORE - A man started sexually assaulting his daughter when she was about 10 years old, with the abuse only ceasing when she ran away from home for good nearly five years later.

He was convicted on Tuesday (June 1) of 15 charges - 14 for sexual assault by penetration and one for outrage of modesty - by Justice Audrey Lim after a trial in the High Court.

The man, who will turn 46 on Saturday, cannot be named due to a gag order to protect his daughter, who is 21 now.

She was between 10 and 14 years old when he committed the offences from 2010 to 2014.

The abuse started when the man molested the girl while she was sleeping in a room at a Yishun flat. He later told her not to tell anyone about it.

The man also said that he would teach her about sex and later progressed to more intrusive acts, including making her perform oral sex on him.

The court had earlier heard that the abuse stopped for a few months after the family moved to a flat in Woodlands in 2011, where the man and his daughter slept in separate rooms.

But it resumed when the girl ended up sleeping in her father's room after the breakdown of her parents' marriage. The abuse later included sodomy, the court had heard.

By then, the girl had attended sexual education classes in school and learnt that the sexual activities with her father were wrong. But when she confronted him, the man told her not to listen to her teacher and to obey him.

He also warned her not to tell anyone about the sexual activities, impressing on her that she would "lose a father" if anyone learnt of them. She became resigned to the constant abuse.

The girl returned to the Yishun flat with her father and brother in 2012, after her parents' divorce was finalised. The abuse continued there.

She ran away to stay with her mother in December 2013, but later returned to her father after he vowed to cease all sexual activities with her.

He resumed his old ways a few months later, and the girl ran away again at the end of 2014.

The man allowed her to live with her mother on the condition that she did not tell anyone about the abuse, which she agreed to.

The girl eventually told her stepfather and her mother about the offences in November 2017. She also lodged a police report that month.

On Tuesday, Justice Lim found the girl's testimony to be consistent and clear. She held that it was also consistent with the police statements taken from the man after his arrest, in which he had confessed to committing the abuse.

He had earlier challenged the admissibility of the statements as evidence in court, but the judge ruled them to be admissible in a previous hearing.

Among other things, Justice Lim found the man's testimony in court to be inconsistent and rejected his explanations on why he could not have committed his offences.

The man will be sentenced on July 21.