SINGAPORE - A 45-year-old driver who sexually abused his stepdaughter for more than six years, starting when she was 12, was sentenced to 24 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Thursday (Feb 7).
The High Court heard that the girl first told her mother about the abuse in 2017 after the man broke his promise to stop sexually abusing her once she turned 18.
No police report was made but the girl moved out to live with her biological father, and cut off communications with her stepfather.
A few months later, for reasons not mentioned in court, the girl moved back and her stepfather resumed the abuse, barely a day after she returned.
She did not hesitate to tell her mother and this time, they lodged a police report.
On Thursday, the accused pleaded guilty to three charges of aggravated sexual assault by penetration. Another 18 charges of various sexual offences were taken into consideration.
The parties are not named to protect the identity of the victim, who is now 20 years old.
Her parents divorced in 2000. In 2007, her mother married the accused and had two daughters with him.
In 2010, the family moved to live in Johor Baru and the victim travelled daily to Singapore to attend school.
The accused, who was diagnosed as a paedophile after his arrest, admitted that he started preying on the girl at their JB home in 2010.
Eventually he also started abusing her in Singapore.
The abuse took place at the Woodlands flat of the accused's mother, where the girl would go after school to wait for him to take her home.
On one occasion in 2011, when he was supposed to send her to school, the man took her to the flat instead, after checking with her that she did not have any exams or tests that day.
No one else was in when he made her perform oral sex on him. After the sexual acts, he took her home.
In early 2012, the family moved back to Singapore.
Several days after the move, while the girl's mother and siblings were asleep, the man forced her to perform oral sex on him in the toilet of their flat.
Some time before the girl turned 18, the man promised to stop the sexual abuse after her birthday.
But his acts continued and this prompted the girl to tell her mother. They considered making a police report but decided against it at the time.
A few months passed without incident after the girl went to live with her father.
On June 12, 2017, the girl moved back with the accused and her mother.
In the early hours of June 13, he made her perform oral sex on him.
She woke her mother to tell her what had happened, and after the accused left for work, they lodged a police report.
The accused was arrested that night and had been held in remand since June 15, 2017.
He told a psychiatrist that he engaged in the sexual acts as he had an "increased sexual need".