An after-sales manager who groomed his 12-year-old stepdaughter into performing a string of "degrading and depraved" sex acts was jailed for 17 years and sentenced to 24 strokes of the cane yesterday.
The 43-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, would buy the youngster gifts and reward her with "pocket money" each time she obliged him.
He pleaded guilty to five charges under the Penal Code and had a further 10 charges taken into consideration during sentencing. His litany of offences ranged from outrage of modesty to sexual penetration of a minor.
The victim moved into the man's Ang Mo Kio flat in 2009 along with her mother - the man's wife - and younger brother.
At first, the primary school pupil did not take to her stepfather but their relations warmed after about three years, when she was in Primary 6. The prosecution said she began calling him "daddy" and he would tell her to to keep their sexual acts a secret. He would even make her watch pornographic movies on his laptop.
On one occasion in 2013, the man took the girl out for a movie. Later, when they arrived home, he made her lie on his bed and touched her sexually.
The court heard that he tried to rape her on two occasions but did not succeed as he suffered sexual problems.
On another occasion, he forced her to give him oral sex in his office when no one else was around.
Every time she performed a sexual act, he would tell her it was a way to show her love, and that it made him feel "high and warm".
If she protested, he would threaten to withhold her pocket money.
His crimes came to light after the girl stole her classmate's wallet in October 2013.
She was caught and apologised, but when her classmate asked her why she did it, the girl said it was because her stepfather made her do "dirty things" and would not give her pocket money if she refused.
That night, the girl told her mother what had been taking place, but because it was late at night, she did not confront her husband.
The next day the classmate told their form teacher what the girl had said. The school later contacted Child Protection Services, and the girl lodged a police report.
Yesterday, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said the man had "corrupted" his daughter, preying on her "naivety and impressionable mind with the lure of gifts".
He said a stiff sentence was warranted because he had to take into account the possible long- term emotional and psychological harm he had caused. The judge added: "Instead of acting as a father figure to nurture, guide and protect, you have systematically exploited her sexually in a degrading and depraved fashion."
This article was first published on April 3, 2015.
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