SINGAPORE - A drug offender who committed sexual acts on his 14-year-old grand-niece on two separate occasions after his release from prison was on Wednesday (July 21) sentenced to 4 ½ years' jail after pleading guilty to two counts of sexually penetrating a minor.
The 57-year-old Singaporean also admitted to other offences - one count each of theft and failing to report for urine tests.
The man cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect the girl's identity.
The victim had seen the man as somebody she could trust and turn to in times of trouble.
The two met each other for the first time in 2019 when he sought shelter at her parents' home after his release from prison for undisclosed offences. He later moved to a Jurong East flat.
Between late October and Nov 1 that year, the girl ran away from her home and ended up at the man's place.
The pair were alone in the living room when they watched an R21-rated movie which had scenes of rampant drug use.
As the movie was about to end, he approached the girl and sexually penetrated her.
The next day, he told the girl's mother of her whereabouts and got the woman to pick her up.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Muhamad Imaduddien and Grace Teo stated in court documents: "The accused instructed the victim to lie to her mother that she had spent the night alone at the flat, and instructed her not to tell her mother what had happened. The victim complied."
About a week later, the man got the girl to deliver him some food.
She arrived at the flat soon after and he sexually penetrated her a second time.
The DPPs said: "She avoided the flat thereafter because she was afraid that the accused would ask her to participate in sexual acts again.
"The accused... committed the offences because he could not control his sexual urges and the victim never resisted his actions."
The girl was initially reluctant to tell anyone about the incidents, as she was afraid of "throwing her family into chaos or making them angry". But she finally approached a social worker on Nov 15, 2019.
The girl was then checked at KK Women's and Children's Hospital which alerted the police later that evening.
In her victim impact statement, the girl said that she had nightmares every night.
"I struggle every single day to try to stop thinking about it but I have never succeeded... I do not trust anyone anymore, even the ones that are close to me, even my own family members and friends."
The man was arrested on Dec 31, 2019 and was warded at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital after he overdosed on heroin.
Following his discharge, he was granted personal bond and ordered to report to the authorities on Jan 14 last year.
But he absconded. About six months later, he stole items including a bicycle worth $745.
The owner of the bicycle lodged a police report on July 16 last year and officers re-arrested the man 13 days later.
The DPPs said that the offender had, without any valid reasons, failed to present himself for 99 urine tests from Aug 15, 2019, until his arrest on July 29 last year.
For each count of sexually penetrating a minor, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.