SINGAPORE - A 39-year-old, who was born a woman but identifies as male and even "married" two women, pleaded guilty on Monday (Dec 7) to sexually abusing a teenage girl who lived in the neighbourhood.
Zunika Ahmad pleaded guilty in the High Court to six charges of sexual penetration of a minor and one charge of sexual exploitation of a minor. Another 14 charges will be taken into consideration when she is sentenced at a later date.
Between April 2012 and December 2013, she had consensual sex with the girl, who was between the age of 13 and 14 at the time. At first, Zunika used a dildo to have sex with the girl but later switched to violating the girl with her fingers, which she felt was "less sinful", said her lawyer, Ms N. Sudha Nair.
Zunika, who is diagnosed with gender dysphoria, dresses and behaves like a man and has a masculine voice. Using her bogus persona, she "married" two women who believed that their "husband" was really a man. Both "wives" were in court on Monday.
The court heard that since she was young, Zunika wanted to be male and disliked her female characteristics. She preferred to wear boys' clothes when she was a child. When her mother forbade her from going for a sex change operation, she cut her forearms to release her emotional distress.
When Zunika started menstruating and developing breasts, she felt betrayed by her own body and started hormone treatment to stop menstruating. When she was 17, she stuffed socks down the front of her underwear, and from the age of 20, she started wearing a strap-on dildo.
The court heard that Zunika lived with her two "wives" and a daughter born after the first wife had a fling with another man.
They became neighbours with the girl's family in 2003. In 2011, her first "wife" invited the girl and her siblings, whose mother had abandoned them, to their home as she felt sorry for them.
Ms Nair told the court that the girl later confessed her feelings for Zunika, whom she believed was a man. She agreed when Zunika asked if she would like to have sex. It was the girl's first romantic and sexual encounter.
The girl, who is now 16, cannot be named due to a gag order.
Deputy Public Prosecutor John Lu sought eight years' jail.
Ms Nair argued for less than three years' jail so that Zunika can go for sex reassignment surgery after she is released from prison, to rebuild her life with her two partners and daughter.
This article was first published on Dec 7, 2015.
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