Two years’ jail, caning for man who sexually assaulted girlfriend’s daughter when she was 13

SINGAPORE – A man who shared a bed with his girlfriend and her then 13-year-old daughter sexually assaulted the teen when he thought she was asleep.

The girl had flashbacks and nightmares after the assaults, but reported the matter only four years later, as her mother did not initially believe her.

The man, now 34, was sentenced to two years’ jail and three strokes of the cane on May 15 after pleading guilty to one count of outrage of modesty.

He admitted to two other charges of stealing a motorcycle and riding it without a valid licence, and was disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for two years upon his release.

Another charge of outrage of modesty and one count of using a motor vehicle without valid insurance were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The man cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the identity of the victim, who is now 21 years old.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min told the court that the victim’s parents separated in 2006. Her mother started a relationship with the man in 2012 and moved in with him and his family.

The victim lived with her paternal grandparents but would occasionally sleep over at the man’s place during weekends. She would share a mattress with the couple, with her mother sleeping in the middle.

On one of the weekends between October and November 2016, the victim was lying on the bed with her mother and the man. The girl knew that her mother had fallen asleep, as she could hear her mother snoring.

While the victim was using her mobile phone, the man sexually assaulted her. Shocked, she pushed his hand away.

The girl felt scared but did not dare to wake up her mother. She moved to the edge of the bed and continued using her phone.

DPP Lim said the man thought that the victim had fallen asleep when he sexually assaulted her.

The same night, the victim felt him touching her a second time. She pushed his hand away again, got out of bed and sat in a corner of the bedroom as she did not dare to return to the bed.

The victim told her mother about the incidents two weeks later.

DPP Lim said: “However, her mother refused to believe her and chose to stay with (the man) because she loved him.”

Over the years, the victim continued to speak to her mother about what the man had done. She eventually reported the matter in December 2020, after her mother gave her approval to do so.

While the man was out on bail after being charged with the sexual assault offences, he stole a motorbike in October 2023 and rode it for about 15 minutes without a valid licence.

His defence lawyer, Ms Shirin Chew from Pro Bono SG, said in mitigation that the man hopes to turn over a new leaf and take care of his family, especially his ill father.

In sentencing, District Judge Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz said the man had abused the victim’s trust in him.

The judge added that the lasting impact of the assault on the victim was a relevant factor that she considered for sentencing.

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