SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): What started out as a close father-daughter relationship between a man and his young stepdaughter turned into one between predator and prey when he started molesting her in 2016.
The victim, then 17, initially did not tell her mother as she did not want the couple to quarrel.
She broke her silence after he molested her in 2019.
Her mother alerted the police and the offender, 54, was jailed for 20 months on Monday (Jan 30) after he pleaded guilty to three molestation charges. The couple have since divorced.
The man, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity, married her mother in 2014.
Two years later, he and the victim were in the living room of their flat when they started teasing each other.
She ran into her bedroom and tried to close the door in an attempt to hide from her stepfather. He pushed open the door and wrestled with her on her bed.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Colin Ng said: “The accused rested his body on top of the victim’s body. The accused then bit the victim on her (chest) over her clothes.”
When she screamed for help, he immediately left the bedroom. The mother, who was in the kitchen, went to the bedroom after hearing the scream.
However, the girl did not reveal what had happened.
On or around March 19, 2018, the man was in the kitchen with the girl when he tried to kiss her lips.
The DPP said: “However, the victim resisted and struggled. During the struggle, the accused pinned the victim down on the floor (and touched her genitals).”
She screamed for help and told him to stop, then left the flat soon after.
Three months later, she told her boyfriend about the incident, but stopped him from making a police report.
The offender struck yet again at around 8.30am on Feb 20, 2019, when he grabbed her right breast while her mother was in the master bedroom. The mother rushed out when she heard screaming.
At first, the victim – who was then 20 – refused to tell her mother about what had transpired, but did so later that evening. The police were alerted.
The man was represented by defence lawyer S.S. Dhillon who pleaded for his client to be given a year’s jail.
The lawyer added: “On reflection, he is ashamed of himself for causing harm to his stepdaughter, and embarrassment and humiliation to his family.
“He wishes to apologise to everyone concerned and begs for their forgiveness.”
For each count of molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of such punishments.
The man cannot be caned as he is over 50.