SINGAPORE - A man who molested his nine-year-old stepdaughter twice was jailed for 15 months and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane on Monday (July 17).
The 30-year-old Malaysian pleaded guilty to rubbing the girl's breasts and private parts over her clothes, intending to outrage her modesty, in May last year.
He cannot be named due to a gag order.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen said that from the time the girl was a baby, she had been living with her godmother's family and would see her mother only on Thursdays. She would stay with her mother and stepfather until the next day when her mother would take her back to the godmother's house.
The victim shared a close relationship with the accused and regarded him as her father.
Sometime in May last year, the victim's mother brought her to her flat as she was not working that day.
After preparing dinner for the family, the mother went to take a shower, leaving the victim alone with the accused.
The victim was drying her hair when the accused asked in a whisper whether he could dry her hair for her. She agreed.
While doing so, he molested her. She was so shocked that she kept quiet.
After rubbing her, he asked her in a whisper again if he could touch her "private part".
Despite the victim saying no, he nevertheless proceeded to molest her and stopped only when she pushed his hand away. He then told her not to tell her mother what he had done.
That night, the victim was returning to her godmother's place when she disclosed to her mother what the accused had done. The victim's mother was shocked. She later confronted the accused, who did not deny the allegations and apologised for what he had done.
Later, the victim's godmother noticed that the girl was crying during her bedtime.
When asked, the victim said that she was feeling scared and could not sleep because of what the accused had done to her. Shocked, the godmother informed the victim's mother, who said that she would handle the matter.
The victim subsequently told her classmate about what the accused had done to her. The classmate's father, who was told about the incident by his daughter, informed the school counsellor. The matter was then reported to the police.
Seeking a sentence of at least 24 months' jail and three strokes of the cane, DPP Ng said the accused had breached the trust and abused his authority.
Instead of protecting and caring for the victim, he sexually abused her when the victim's mother was taking a shower.
The accused could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, or received any combined sentence for molesting a person under 14 years old on each charge.