SINGAPORE - A man was sentenced to nearly five years’ jail on Thursday for molesting his biological daughter between 2011 and 2017.
He started molesting her when she was around nine years old and continued targeting her as he felt emboldened by her silence.
His offences came to light when the girl told her then boyfriend about her ordeal. The father later claimed trial to the molestation charges and went on to victim-shame his daughter in court.
In submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min said that the man’s conduct at trial was appalling.
“He had not only imputed various fabricated motives to the victim for making false accusations against him, he had also assembled a panel of witnesses to testify that the victim was promiscuous,” said DPP Lim.
“In this regard, he engaged in victim-shaming tactics to portray the victim as a sexualised and promiscuous girl in an attempt to explain why she made the present allegations against him.”
District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan then remarked that it would have been clear to the defence that the reason for the victim’s promiscuity was her father.
The judge also found that the defence’s arguments amounted to victim-shaming.
The father, now 54, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity, was sentenced to four years, 10 months and four weeks’ jail on Thursday after he was convicted of five molestation charges.
DPP Lim said that the accused had molested his daughter on multiple occasions between December 2011 and December 2017 to satisfy his sexual urges.
According to court documents, the father had performed acts such as touching his daughter’s private parts, groping her chest, and kissing her on the lips.
The prosecutor said: “Throughout this time, the victim suffered alone and in silence. She wrestled with feelings of anguish and shame, unsure of whether anyone would believe her.
“Eventually, she could no longer tolerate the sexual abuse and confided in her then boyfriend about what the accused did to her. It was only then that the accused’s sexual abuse of the victim came to light.”
On Thursday, DPP Lim urged the court to sentence the man to between 4½ years and five years and five months in jail.
The prosecutor also asked for him to be given an additional one month’s jail in lieu of caning as offenders over 50 years old cannot be caned.
The DPP said: “No child should be exploited in such a manner, particularly by the very ones they trust and look to for love and protection.
“The accused’s actions must be categorically denounced, and a clear signal should be sent to like-minded would-be offenders who may be tempted to exploit those under their charge for their own sexual gratification.”
The man, who was represented by lawyer Wee Hong Shern, intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence. His bail has been set at $20,000.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.