A BREAD maker went to live with a colleague who treated him like a "sworn brother", and asked him to help take care of his troubled young daughter.
But the 35-year-old man went on to have a sexual relationship with the girl when she was just 13.
Yesterday the Chinese national - who cannot be named to protect his victim's identity - was jailed for three years.
He pleaded guilty to three charges of sexually abusing the girl in 2012 and 2013 when she was between 13 and 14 years old.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chloe Lee said investigations showed that the victim, a secondary school student, was not close to her parents and would confide in the man about school and personal matters.
Her mother had returned to China, which caused a rift between her and her father. Her father asked the accused to talk to his daughter and help him look after her.
At the father's suggestion, he moved into their Woodlands rental flat in October 2012.
The two men slept in the living room and occasionally the girl would sleep there with them as she was afraid to be alone.
About a month later, when no one was in the flat, the accused and the victim were watching shows on the computer together while lying on the bed. He placed his hand over her waist and pulled her towards him.
She did not resist and he began fondling her.
The victim told the accused that she "wanted to do it", which the accused understood to mean that she wanted to have sex.
Initially, he refused but relented when she kept pleading with him, the court heard.
The pair had sex again in July last year after the girl and her father had moved to another flat in Woodlands.
The accused also admitted another sexual charge involving the girl which took place sometime between November 2012 and July last year, when she reported to police that she had been raped.
Three other charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.
The accused said he hoped the matter would not be reported as the girl was still in Singapore.
District Judge Ng Peng Hong said: "If you have her welfare in your mind, you would not have done this to her in the first instance."
He said there was a wide age gap between the accused and the victim and he had abused the trust the father placed in him.
The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years' jail and a fine.
This article was first published on August 27, 2014.
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