SINGAPORE - A man molested his niece when she was between seven and eight years old, and went on to perform a sexual act on the minor in their home around seven years later in 2015.
Six years passed before she finally told the police in 2021 about her ordeal.
The court heard that the victim, who is now 22, initially did not want to alert the authorities because she feared that police officers and her family members would not believe her.
She decided to lodge the police report after her best friend and her boyfriend encouraged her to do so.
Her uncle, now 30, was on Tuesday jailed for three years after he pleaded guilty to one count of sexually penetrating a minor.
Two molestation charges involving the same victim were considered during sentencing.
The offender cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity.
Before sexually penetrating the girl, he had earlier molested her when she was between seven and eight years old.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Heng said: “Emboldened by the lack of consequences, he escalated in his sexual abuse and committed a more serious offence of sexual penetration of a minor against the victim.”
The man had lived in a flat with his family members, including his mother, the victim and her two younger brothers.
The man and his niece, who was then between 14 and 15 years old, were alone in the unit in 2015 when he took her to a bathroom and told her to sit on a toilet bowl.
He then sexually penetrated the girl after telling her to cover her face with her shirt if she felt scared.
After he committed the offence, the victim rushed to her bed and hid underneath a blanket .
She made a police report on May 1, 2021, and officers arrested her uncle later that day.
On Tuesday, DPP Heng pressed for a sentence of three years’ jail, noting that the man had abused his position of trust.
She added: “As the accused and the victim lived together, this gave the accused easy access to the victim, and the accused knowingly exploited this.
“Furthermore, the sexual acts were committed against the victim within the sanctity of her own home, where she was supposed to feel safe.”
For sexually penetrating a minor, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.