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'Indelible scars on the victim's psyche': 'Family friend' who sexually abused girl jailed 11 years

'Indelible scars on the victim's psyche': 'Family friend' who sexually abused girl jailed 11 years
PHOTO: Pexels

SINGAPORE - A girl - who was sexually assaulted by a family friend when she was nine to 10 years old - was so badly traumatised that her science lessons and examination paper had to be modified to avoid the topic of human reproduction.

The girl, now 17, continues to display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) connected to the assaults, the High Court heard on Monday (July 18).

Her assailant, now 60, was sentenced to 11 years' jail.

He pleaded guilty earlier to one count each of sexual assault by penetration and outrage of modesty committed in 2015.

Five other similar charges were taken into consideration in sentencing.

He cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

The court heard that the girl, whose parents were divorced, lived with her father and maternal grandmother.

In January 2015, her grandmother agreed to take care of the accused's daughter, who moved into their three-room flat.

Between January 2015 and March 2016, the accused would visit his daughter at the flat, usually during weekends.

During these weekly visits, he would ask the victim to chat with him on the sofa in the living room and took the opportunity to sexually assault her when no one else was around.

In the final incident, the victim was looking out of the kitchen window when the man whispered into her ear and molested her.

She managed to pull away, locked herself in her room and began crying and having panic attacks.

On hearing a knock, she opened the door thinking it was her grandmother, but found the man standing there instead.

He hugged and kissed her but she escaped to the toilet, where she washed away his saliva and stuffed toilet paper into her mouth.

She opened the door only when she heard her grandmother's voice.

She screamed until her grandmother told her to go to her room to calm down.

The victim then told her grandmother that she did not want the accused and his daughter in the flat. The man's daughter moved out in early 2016.

The abuse came to light in 2018 when the victim broke down during a Secondary 1 sex education class when the topic of sexual abuse was discussed.


She eventually revealed to her form teacher and a school counsellor that she was assaulted in Primary 4.

The school informed her father, who made a police report.

The victim has attended more than 31 sessions at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital's psychosocial trauma support service, the court heard.

She was diagnosed with PTSD, which impacted her daily functioning.

Intrusive thoughts about the abuse affected her concentration and focus when studying, and triggers such as hearing a dirty joke would cause her to break down in tears or have a panic attack.

Arrangements had to be made for her to miss science lessons when the topic of human reproduction was taught, and for her to sit for a modified science examination paper.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim, seeking a jail term of 10 to 12 years, said in written submissions: "The accused's acts have left indelible scars on the victim's psyche."

Defence counsel Gino Hardial Singh sought 11 years' jail, highlighting his client has third-stage colon cancer.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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