SINGAPORE - He was then a 17-year-old who became addicted to pornography while waiting to be called up for national service in 1999.
This addiction caused the teenager to harbour sexual desires for his then eight-year-old cousin, and he eventually raped her on three occasions that year.
Now 31, the former delivery man was sentenced to seven years' jail and nine strokes of the cane on Wednesday for rape.
The victim, now 22, had kept quiet about her ordeal for more than a decade before going to the police in 2011. The accused was arrested and charged last year.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam agreed with the prosecution that deterrence is called for in this case. "There are numerous aggravating factors. The accused had abused his position of trust in taking advantage of a very young victim.
"The offences were pre-meditated, and the accused had exhibited a pattern of offending as seen in the additional charges which were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing," he said.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said the victim went to live with the accused, an aunt and an uncle in 1998 when she was seven. She continued living there until 2001.
In mid-1999, the accused and the victim went to buy food from a nearby store. They were in a lift on their way home when he recalled sex scenes he had watched and wanted to have sex with her.
He took her to a staircase landing but dropped the idea after a passer-by walked past. About a week later, he again took her to the staircase landing, where he raped her.
He warned her not to tell anyone and raped her on two other occasions around the same period.
The accused, who has previous convictions for theft, fraudulent possession, transmitting a false message, mischief by fire and criminal breach of trust, could have been jailed for up to 20 years, fined or caned.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.