SINGAPORE - A real estate agent who began sexually exploiting his stepdaughter when she was 11 was jailed yesterday for 32 years - one of the longest terms for a sex offender here.
The 37-year-old, who also raped the victim when she was 14, was also ordered to be caned the maximum of 24 strokes. Judicial Commissioner Tan Siong Thye said the jail term was an appropriate deterrent punishment "in the context of his despicable and callous crimes".
The Judicial Commissioner accepted that the man is now remorseful for his actions and has a low risk of committing sexual offences in the future. But he said the court cannot ignore the "vicious" crimes committed over a long period of time, which has caused irreparable harm to a very young girl.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the victim's identity, married her divorcee mother in January 2008. Six months later, he began groping the older of her two daughters under her clothes at night while everyone else in the household was sleeping. Over the next three years, he moved on to other forms of sexual abuse and dictated sleeping arrangements to keep her close.
In 2011, he barged into the toilet while she was bathing, pulled her out and raped her.
The High Court heard that the victim did not tell anyone about the abuse as she thought he would harm her, and her mother would not believe her.
The man also physically assaulted the girl and her younger sister. On one occasion, he punched and kicked the sisters for simply not opening the door of their flat because they were asleep. However, he did not sexually abuse the younger girl.
Last week, the man pleaded guilty to seven charges - two each for rape, outrage of modesty and causing hurt, and one for sexual assault of a minor - related to the older sister, who is now 16. Another 11 charges, including four of causing hurt to the younger sister, now 14, were taken into consideration. The girls' mother left him in November 2011 over his violent behaviour and filed for divorce.
The sexual abuse came to light in March last year when the older girl told her friends that she lost her virginity to her stepfather.
In 2010, a man was jailed for 36 years for raping and assaulting his teenage biological daughter over a three-year period. The longest jail term given to a sex offender was 42 years - for a man who robbed seven women and sexually violated three of them.
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