Man pleads guilty to molesting his 8-year-old neighbour

He showed her obscene videos and touched her inappropriately

A married man who showed pornographic videos to his eight-year-old neighbour and touched her inappropriately pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated molestation yesterday.

Two charges of showing obscene objects to the girl will be taken into consideration during sentencing, which was adjourned to tomorrow.

After the 47-year-old pleaded guilty, eight other charges for offences including sexual assault by penetration, molestation and house trespass, were withdrawn.

The man's name and specific job at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) were not disclosed to protect the identity of the victim, who is now 10 years old.

The High Court heard that the man and the victim lived in houses next to each other, and their families have been close for years.

The man lived at his wife's parents' house, while the girl lived with her parents and grandmother.

As the victim's family regularly travelled overseas, her grandmother left a key to the house with the man's in-laws so that they could help collect mail, among other things.

The man's wife and her parents had also helped with the victim's Primary 1 registration as her mother, a Chinese national, was not fluent in English. The girl would also regularly visit the house that the accused lived in.

 
 
 

On the afternoon of Sept 4, 2017, the man went over to the victim's house, after her father asked for help to fix the water heater. After they were done, the girl's father, a private-hire car driver, left for work.

The man, who had also left the house, returned a few minutes later and went up to the second floor, where the girl was using the laptop in her parents' bedroom.

The man showed the victim an obscene photo and video on his mobile phone, then touched her.

On Dec 1, 2017, the man left for MBS with his wife on his motorcycle, pretending that he had to go to work.

The court heard that in the days prior, he had lied to his wife that he had some "packing work" to do and, at the same time, told the girl that he wanted to go to her house.

While his wife shopped at MBS, the man went back to the victim's house and used the key entrusted to his in-laws to unlock the gate.

He and the victim watched pornography together for a while.

He touched her and rubbed himself against her as he showed her a pornographic cartoon on his phone. He then took a shower at the victim's house and returned to MBS to pick up his wife.

The next day, the girl asked her mother to get the key back from the neighbours.

She repeated the request over the next two days, adding that the man had come into their house, showed her an obscene video and touched her.

Her mother confronted the man on Dec 6. He initially denied any wrongdoing but eventually confessed. A police report was made the next day.

The man's DNA was found on the victim's underwear.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2019, with the headline 'Man pleads guilty to molesting his 8-year-old neighbour'. Print Edition | Subscribe