A 20-year-old man was charged in court yesterday with raping a four-year-old girl.
The man is alleged to have abused the child in February 2012.
Another charge of attempted rape on another victim, then 13, was taken into consideration. Both offences are alleged to have been committed in the same month.
The man's identity cannot be published to protect the identity of the children.
Two lawyers told The New Paper that rape cases involving children that young are rare.
Said Mr Satwant Singh: "In my 18 years as a lawyer, the alleged rape of the four-year-old is sickening and super rare.
"I usually hear of cases involving victims aged between eight and 10."
Lawyer N. Kanagavijayan said the youngest victim he was aware of recently was 12.
He said: "I normally come across more molest than rape cases involving minors. But I can't forget a sad story of a baby who was raped in the 1990s.
"That case has remained in my memory."
In 2008, a 41-year-old was sentenced to 17 years' jail and 14 strokes of the cane for raping his three-year-old daughter.
Police statistics show a rise in the number of statutory rape cases involving girls under the age of 14.
There were 40 cases of statutory rape from January to June, compared with 23 cases in the same period last year.
This pushed up the overall number of rape cases in the first half of this year to 91, from 61 cases in the same period of 2013.
Police said the culprits in the majority of the statutory rape cases are known to the victims and are youth offenders.
Anyone found guilty of having sex with a minor can be jailed up to 20 years, fined or caned.
This article was first published on August 26, 2014.
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