SINGAPORE - A curtain installer who molested his nine-year-old step-granddaughter in the presence of her siblings was jailed for 2½ years on Wednesday (March 7).
The 51-year-old man pleaded guilty to two counts of outraging the child's modesty and one count of committing an indecent act on her.
He cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the girl's identity.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Adrianni Marhain said the man married the child's grandmother in 2004 and they lived together in a Yishun flat.
The girl and her two older sisters regularly spent time in the unit after school before their mother picked them up in the evening.
Their grandmother would also take care of the three girls on her days off and the man would play with them.
At around 7pm on Oct 20, 2016, the nine-year-old girl was sitting beside her step-grandfather watching TV while her sister sat elsewhere in the room.
The man took her hand and placed it on his private parts, over his boxer shorts.
Two days later the girl, her sister and the man were playing a game of tag in a bedroom when he caught her from behind.
Noticing that the child's sister was lying down on a bed with a bolster over her face, the man molested the girl.
Ms Siti Adrianni said: "The accused assumed that the victim's sister was unable to see him molesting the victim. However, since the bolster was covering only half her face, she was able to observe him doing so."
The man struck again the next day when he asked the girl to meet him in a bedroom. She asked her two siblings to come.
He told the three sisters to lie on a bed. He lay down beside the nine-year-old and molested her after covering her with a blanket.
Ms Siti Adrianni told District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim: "One of the victim's sisters noticed movement under the blanket and deduced that the accused was touching the victim as she had seen it happen before."
The sister told their grandmother what she had seen and the nine-year-old girl lodged a police report.
Offenders convicted of molesting a child under 14 can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned. The man, who was unrepresented, cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.