SINGAPORE — A man who molested his 11-year-old daughter under the pretence of punishing her was sentenced to two years' jail and six strokes of the cane on Monday (10 May).
The 34-year-old father of three, had first gotten aroused at the sight of his daughter's breasts while punishing her for failing her year-end examinations.
The day after, he called her into the master bedroom again where he told her to close her eyes while he fondled her, claiming to be punishing her.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the victim's identity, pleaded guilty to two out of three counts of molesting a person under 14 years old. The remaining count was taken into consideration for his sentencing. His daughter is now 14.
The man was living with his wife, daughter and two sons at their home. His wife has since divorced him.
Facts of the case
In December 2017, the girl, then aged 11, was watching television with her brother when her father called her into the bedroom to punish her for failing her year-end examinations.
While alone in the bedroom, the father asked his daughter to sit on the floor and close her eyes. He began pinching and slapping her. As he pulled up her shirt, the girl's bra became unhooked, exposing her breasts. He then slapped and pinched her private parts, while forming the desire to touch them.
The next day, the girl was reading a book in her room when her father again called her into the master bedroom. He intended to punish her for several minutes in order to feel her private parts, as he had been thinking about them since the day before.
When his daughter entered, he closed the door and asked the girl to close her eyes. He then molested her, making skin to skin contact.
Feeling uncomfortable, the girl opened her eyes and saw that her father was touching her inappropriately. She began crying, spurring her father to stop the punishment and allow her to leave.
The matter came to light when she told a friend and then her form teacher about the incident. The school's management was informed and the girl's mother was called to school. Mother and daughter then went to hospital for the girl to be examined.
The hospital alerted the police on 25 January 2018.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Suzanna Yim sought at least two years' jail with six strokes of the cane for the accused person, citing the high degree of exploitation and the man's deliberation in molesting his daughter.
He got her away from her two brothers and asked her to close her eyes so that she would not be aware of what was going on, noted the DPP. He was also her biological father, making the act the "highest form of abuse of trust", added the DPP.
The man's lawyer Shehzhadee Rahman, sought no more than 20 months' jail.
She told the court that her client was remanded for assessment at the Institute of Mental Health for two weeks. While there was no causal or contributory link found between his mental disorder and the acts committed, a psychiatrist found that he only had an IQ of 78, which fell within the borderline impaired or delayed range.
Shehzhadee added that the father was "deeply contrite" and that the incident had caused him pain as his entire family had been torn apart.
"He feels disgusted at himself and would never be able to forgive himself for hurting his own child. Up to this point, he has been a loving father and was close to all three children," she said.
For molesting a person under 14, the man could have been jailed up to five years, or fined, or caned, or both.
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