Woman testifies for husband accused of raping their daughter

A 35-year-old woman, whose technician husband is on trial for repeatedly raping their daughter more than three years ago, still believes that the girl, who was 14 then, is making up the allegations.

The woman, who is testifying as a defence witness, told the High Court yesterday that her daughter was a "very rebellious" child who signed her own report books and had run away from home a few times to meet male friends she got to know on Facebook.

Defence lawyer A. Revi Shanker produced three police reports made in relation to the girl running away from home, although Justice Lee Seiu Kin questioned the relevance of two of these reports, which were lodged months after the girl raised the rape allegations.

During cross-examination, Deputy Public Prosecutor Winston Man told the woman that her daughter may have lied about her relationships with boys, but it was "a very big jump" to say that she was capable of making a false report against her biological father for rape.

The woman disagreed.

"This is your own personal view but as a mother, I definitely know how my daughter thinks," replied the administrative assistant, who testified with the help of an interpreter.

The parties cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, who is now 17.

The eldest of the couple's three children, she alleged that she was raped eight times in a two-month period, usually on a Friday when her mother was away for mahjong.

The girl's father is on trial for two incidents that the girl can "most vividly recall".

On Nov 19, 2014, while her mother was at work, her father forced his way into the locked common toilet while she was changing and raped her, said the girl.

And she said on the night of Jan 9, 2015, her father grabbed her from behind, took her to her bedroom, and raped her on her bed while her mother was at a mahjong session.

The girl told the school counsellor about the rapes and the matter was then reported to the police and the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

Her family did not believe her allegations, the court heard. Her paternal grandmother compared her to characters in TV dramas who seduce men, while her mother, in a text message, asked why she framed her father just to get "freedom".

The man's semen was found on a pair of shorts she was wearing at the time of the second incident, the court heard.

In a statement to the police in April 2015, the man admitted that he had sex with his daughter on one occasion.

However, last week, the statement was ruled to be inadmissible as evidence, with the judge concluding that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the statement was given voluntarily.

The trial came to an end with the woman's testimony, and the case has been adjourned for both sides to make written submissions. No date has yet been set for a verdict.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2018, with the headline 'Woman testifies for husband accused of raping their daughter'. Print Edition | Subscribe