SINGAPORE — After moving into the same home with their families some time in 2010, a man began entering his step-niece’s room to sexually abuse the teenager while she was asleep.

Less than a year after the first incident, the man began to escalate the sexual acts he committed against the girl, who was under 14 years old when some of the offences took place.

The man, now 39, and woman, now 27, cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim’s identity.

On Thursday (April 18), the man was sentenced to 18 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

He pleaded guilty in the High Court to two charges of sexual assault involving penetration of a minor under 14 years old and a charge of outrage of modesty of a minor under 14.

Another eight charges – including committing an indecent act with a young person aged 13 to 14 years old, and sexual penetration of a minor under 14 years old – were taken into consideration in sentencing.

The charges covered offences committed over a period of three years.

The man initially claimed trial but entered guilty pleas part way through the hearing, and before the woman had been required to testify.

In sentencing submissions, the prosecution said that the man had “systematically groomed” the girl for his own gratification, and that the sentence imposed should reflect “society’s abhorrence” at his conduct.

The prosecution also said that the escalation of his sexualisation of the victim “desensitis(ed) the victim to the acts they were carrying out together and rob(bed) her of a regular childhood”.

The man will begin his sentence on June 19 after he was granted a deferment to serve his resignation notice of two months, and to celebrate Hari Raya Haji with his family.

No further details about the nature of the man’s job or the reason he needs to serve the notice were stated in court.


Court documents showed that the man was the younger brother of the victim’s stepmother.

Some time in 2010, he and victim moved into the same maisonette with their families.

The girl and her sister shared a bedroom on the second level of the maisonette, while the man’s room was on the first level of the unit.

Later that year, the man began to enter the girl’s room at night while she and her younger sister were sleeping.

He lay on the bed next to her and laid his hand across her chest while she was sleeping, before touching her  inappropriately.

After this incident, the man began to enter the girl’s room regularly to touch her. Court documents stated that the girl was asleep when the man did these.


Within a year, the man was escalating this abuse, including kissing the girl on her lips and other sexual acts.

When the girl gagged during the sexual abuse, he stopped what he was doing, and let her go back to sleep.

Court documents stated that the victim was under 14 years old throughout the period of offences.

The girl did not understand the nature of the actions that the man was committing against her, they added.

Later that year, the man began to sexually penetrate the girl.

The sexual acts continued to occur around three times a week, while the man and victim’s families resided together.

The victim eventually began initiating some of these sexual acts with the man, and that she “struggled between being increasingly aware that what they were doing was wrong and thinking that they had mutual feelings for each other”.

The man and victim continued to engage in consensual sexual intercourse between November 2013 and 2017, though they did not stay in contact after she moved out some time in 2018 before getting married.


Some time in 2016, the victim met her current husband, whom she married in November 2018.

On Dec 31, 2019, the woman and her husband were having a meal with her in-laws, when she spotted the man at the same restaurant.

She informed her husband, and was in a low mood after spotting him. As such, the woman and her husband ended their meal early and returned home.

Back home the woman broke down, and after a discussion with her husband, made a police report that night about the offender’s actions.

The man was detained on Jan 3, 2020, at the Woodlands Causeway Checkpoint while he was on his way to Johor Bahru, Malaysia for a family trip.

He was released on bail on Jan 31, 2020, and has been on bail since.

On April 3, 2020, the victim was examined by Dr Tina Tan, a doctor at the Institute of Mental Health, and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the acts the man had inflicted on her.

Symptoms of the woman’s PTSD began to manifest after she moved out from the maisonette. These included nightmares, disturbed sleep, and occasions where she would suddenly break down and cry for no reason.

She would also have episodes where the memory of what the man had done to her made her go “blank” – where she would feel like the world had disappeared or she was completely alone.

Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Lee Zu Zhao and June Ngian sought a jail term of between 18 and 20 years and 24 strokes of the cane.

They sought this penalty in light of the serious psychological harm the victim suffered, the long period of offences and high frequency of offending, the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and the abuse of trust involved.

“He was her step-uncle and the family placed great trust (in him) to let him stay with her,” said DPP Lee, adding that the man had instead abused this trust and used his position to groom the girl.

For sexual assault involving penetration of a minor under 14 years old, the man could have been jailed for up to 20 years, and fined or caned.

For the outrage of modesty of a minor under 14 years old, the man could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or faced any combination of such punishments.


Leave A Reply

© 2024 The News Singapore. All Rights Reserved.