SINGAPORE — A man subjected his then-wife’s sister to multiple sex acts including an act of rape in the girl’s own bedroom when the victim was aged between about nine and 15 years.
These assaults took place while the victim lived in the same flat as the man, his then-wife and their children, between 2012 and 2017.
The man, now 40 and divorced, was sentenced to 18 years’ jail and 16 strokes of the cane on Monday (Sept 11).
He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual penetration of a minor and one count of rape. Another 10 similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Both the man and the victim cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim’s identity.
The court heard that the man married the girl’s oldest sister in 2009 and then lived in a flat with the couple’s children, the victim and her parents until 2020.
Throughout this period, the man shared a close relationship with the girl who trusted him and treated him like a brother.
COMMITTING SEXUAL ACTS
Between 2012 and 2013 when the girl was aged nine to 11, he would perform sexual acts on her and ask her to do the same to him on multiple occasions.
Some of these incidents would happen while the girl followed her brother-in-law to run some errands in the car or when he was supposed to take her to school.
Instead of doing either of these tasks, the man would drive her to a secluded car park and perform these acts.
He would also kiss her without her consent and only stop when he was sufficiently aroused or sexually satisfied before continuing to either take her to school or fetch her home, behaving as though nothing had happened.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Yohanes Ng said that when the man committed these sexual acts against the young girl, there was no consent given and the girl had complied with his requests because she did not know how to react and was too young to understand what he was doing.
The man had also been motivated to commit the acts against his sister-in-law after having watched pornographic videos of sexual acts committed against young teenagers.
During investigations, the man admitted that due to her young age, the girl could not have been able to consent to his acts since she would not have understood what he was doing to her.
In addition to the sexual acts, the man had also touched her inappropriately — the subject of one of the charges that was taken into consideration.
On Jan 30, 2013, the man was driving his young sister-in-law to meet her oldest sister for dinner when he placed his left hand on her right thigh with the intent to outrage her modesty.
He stopped touching her when the girl reacted and shouted “oi!”.
Sometime in 2017 when the victim was aged between 14 to 15, the man entered the girl’s locked room without her consent.
She was on a video call with her then-boyfriend in the dark when she heard someone take the key to her bedroom that was hung outside to open her locked bedroom door.
The girl walked towards her door and when she saw her brother-in-law standing outside, she tried to stop him from entering her room by pushing her television in front of the bedroom door.
However, that did not work as the man still managed to push the door open and entered her bedroom.
The man had entered her room with the intention of having sex with her after watching pornography on his mobile phone in his own room and decided to force his way in to do so because he was “too eager”, DPP Ng said.
At that time, the rest of the family members were sleeping and his wife was not at home.
He then proceeded to kiss and hug the girl without her consent before he pushed her towards the bed, and had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her without protection.
He stopped when he heard the girl’s mother coming out of her room and quickly left the girl’s bedroom.
The girl did not tell anyone about what had happened because she was afraid no one would believe her and she did not want to affect her sister’s marriage.
She also felt close to the man as he was a family member, though his actions had made her felt like she was his “sex slave”.
The offences eventually came to light after the girl’s boyfriend urged her to make a police report on March 14 last year.
The man was arrested the next day.
‘LOST HER INNOCENCE AND VIRGINITY’
Seeking 18 to 20 years’ jail and 16 to 20 strokes of the cane, DPP Teo Lu Jia said that this would be an appropriate sentence as these were offences that were committed with pre-meditation.
They also involved a particularly vulnerable victim who was not only young but lost her innocence and virginity.
The offender had not only abused the trust of the victim and her family but also corrupted the victim to make her feel like a “sex slave” and exposed her to the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy, DPP Teo stated.
In sentencing, District Judge Terence Tay said that while the man’s early plea of guilt had saved the victim of having to recount the revolting acts, the man did force his way into her room and raped her on her own bed.
The judge added that 18 years’ jail and 16 strokes of the cane would be appropriate because there is no way to fathom the horror and helplessness that the victim felt knowing that her home and bedroom was not safe from the accused.
The man was sentenced to eight years’ jail for the sexual penetration charge and 10 years’ jail for the rape charge.
During court proceedings, the judge had initially sentenced the man to 11 years’ jail for the rape charge but had to amend it to 10 years’ jail.
This is because the District Courts have limited jurisdiction that only allows a maximum punishment of up to 10 years for a jail term.
For sexual penetration of a minor, the man could have been jailed up to 20 years and given up to 12 strokes of the cane.
For rape, the man could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined or caned.