'Monster' who forced wife into prostitution gets 25½-year jail term

ST ILLUSTRATION: CEL GULAPA

Jobless man, who also sexually abused six-year-old daughter and wife's niece, sentenced to 24 strokes too

A 27-year-old jobless man who forced his wife to prostitute herself to pay for their baby son's diapers and milk powder was sentenced to 25½ years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane yesterday.

He also admitted to forcing his six-year-old daughter to perform oral sex on him, as well as undressing, kissing and fondling his wife's 13-year-old niece on the day she was supposed to take a PSLE exam.

"You are a monster," High Court Judge Chan Seng Onn said in sentencing the man.

Citing the prosecution's submissions, the judge said: "The sordid sexual depravity of his transgressions is unprecedented and involves him sexually exploiting the three most vulnerable women in his life - whom he had every responsibility to protect."

The case was described by prosecutors as the "first case of its kind" and the most aggravated case of human trafficking in Singapore.

Seeking at least 22 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane, Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lau said the man regularly inflicted violence on his 28-year-old wife and emotionally harangued her to ensure that she fulfilled a daily quota.

Over a three-month period between June and August 2016, she provided sexual services to about 138 men - an average of three to five customers a day.

 

EXTREME DEPRAVITY 

The sordid sexual depravity of his transgressions is unprecedented and involves him sexually exploiting the three most vulnerable women in his life - whom he had every responsibility to protect. 

HIGH COURT JUDGE CHAN SENG ONN, in sentencing the man who had exploited his daughter, his wife and her niece.

  • Sexual assaults on daughter and niece

  • Just after having sex with his wife, the jobless man beckoned his six-year-old daughter over and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

    This was despite him suspecting at the time that he had a sexually transmitted disease.

    The sexual assault on the girl took place at a Balestier hotel, where the family was staying between July 20 and Aug 14, 2016. The man had moved his family out of his mother's flat after an argument.

    On Aug 14, the family moved back with the man's mother.

    She called the police on Aug 20 after her granddaughter revealed that the man had done "something bad" to her.

    It was during police investigations into the sexual assault that the man's wife disclosed she had been forced to prostitute herself.

    Yesterday, a character reference letter from the man's mother was submitted to the court by his lawyer, Mr Ng Boon Gan, during his plea for leniency. The contents of the letter were not read out in court.

    The man's third victim was his wife's 13-year-old niece.

    On the evening of July 31, 2016, the man became angry with his wife for failing to service more customers because she fell asleep due to fatigue.

    He assaulted her and insisted that she bring her niece to him. The court heard that he had previously made sexual advances towards the teenager.

    His wife initially refused as she knew her niece was taking her Primary School Leaving Examination and she suspected that he would harm the girl. But she eventually complied after he threatened to hit her again.

    She waited outside her niece's school at 6.30am on Aug 1 and led her away despite the girl telling her that she had an oral examination that day.

    The woman took her niece to a Balestier hotel and left the room after telling the girl to take a shower.

    She handed the room key to her husband, who undressed himself and hugged the girl when she came out of the shower. He pinned her down on the bed, removed her T-shirt and bra, and groped and kissed her.

    He also placed a pillow over her face to muffle her screams but panicked when she stopped struggling. He then ended the assault and notified his wife.

    The woman took her niece to a nearby polyclinic to obtain a medical certificate to excuse her from school that day.

    Despite the ordeal, the girl went back to school as the principal had arranged for her to take her exam in the light of her absence. However, she did not tell her principal what had happened.

    A psychiatric assessment stated that the man has anti-social personality traits and poses a risk to his daughter. The report noted that he was "somewhat boastful of his sexual exploits".

    Selina Lum

All her earnings - close to $11,000 - were handed to her husband.

Justice Chan imposed a $12,000 fine to disgorge the profits made by the accused. If the man cannot pay, he will have to spend two more months in jail.

The offences came to light after the man's mother reported him to the police in August 2016 for sexually assaulting his daughter.

The court heard that the man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the three victims, had a long history of physically abusing his wife, even before they got married in 2012.

He began beating her in 2009, a year after they started a relationship. The violence increased in severity and frequency, and persisted while she was pregnant. From June 2015, he assaulted her at least once a week.

The woman did not dare to use her mobile phone or contact her family members. She also did not report him to the police as he had threatened to kill her if she disclosed the abuse.

Between 2010 and 2015, the family relied on the wife's salary as a receptionist and office assistant. She would hand over her $1,800 salary to the man, who gave her a transport allowance.

The couple faced financial problems when she stopped working.

In June 2016, he rejected her request that he get a job and, instead, demanded that she prostitute herself. He badgered her until she eventually succumbed.

The man, who frequently used online platforms to engage prostitutes, taught her how to solicit customers on such a website.

He taught her to use online monikers like "Single Mum" to advertise her services, and to respond to interested customers with details such as her bust size.

He told her to charge between $80 and $100 for an hour of sexual service, and $120 for two hours. If she failed to meet her daily quota of customers, she had to make up for it the next day. He also made her secretly record her acts with customers as he had a fetish for seeing her having sex with other men.

On one occasion, he insisted that she provide sexual services to a customer who turned out to be her classmate. When she failed to persuade her classmate to take part in a threesome, he punched her and hit her with a dumb-bell. Desperate to appease him, she tried to look for more customers online.

Yesterday, the man pleaded guilty to one charge each of procuring a woman for the purpose of prostitution and of receiving payment in connection with exploitation of a trafficked victim. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault by penetration of a minor and a charge of aggravated outrage of modesty. Four other charges were considered during sentencing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline ''Monster' who forced wife into prostitution gets 25½-year jail term'. Print Edition | Subscribe