An unemployed Hong Kong man who forced his girlfriend’s underage daughter to have sex with him while her mother was outside on the balcony of a studio flat was jailed for six years and nine months by a court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors revealed that the man, now 63, had told the 15-year-old last year that he would evict her mother from their home if she refused sexual intercourse while her mother stood outside, her view obscured by a wardrobe.
The High Court heard the incident was among a series of sexual assaults that began when the child was 11 and continued for four years, despite her refusal and attempts to push the man away.
He told police upon arrest: “I paid my daughter.”
Nonetheless, the mother wrote in mitigation for her boyfriend to plead for a chance to start a new life.
“Every one in the family has made mistakes,” she said.
The man, named only as C.W.H. to protect the child’s identity, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of indecent assault and one each of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 and under 16.
The defendant’s conduct must have inflicted a certain degree of psychological harm on the victim and the family
The court heard the assaults started in 2013, when the man visited the child one day when she was home alone, gave her a gift and ordered her to remove her clothes, before assaulting her.
Unsure of what had happened, the child kept the incident to herself.
Months later, he indecently assaulted her when the girl asked him for some pocket money.
The man demanded sex again one day between March and April last year, despite the child’s mother standing nearby. The child agreed out of fear that her family’s relationships might be affected.
The same worry prompted her to let him assault her on October 28 last year.
The case was finally reported to police after the girl told a friend at school.
The man later told investigators that the child agreed to let him kiss, touch and have sex with her after he offered to pay her. He also confessed to touching her on other occasions.
A victim impact assessment revealed that the child had been unwilling to discuss or face the assaults, and that she only wanted to focus on happy things.
Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung called the case a very serious example of breach of trust, involving a stepfather sexually assaulting a child on multiple occasions over four years.
Li also highlighted the fact that the man had coerced and induced the child to fulfil his wishes, and sexually assaulted her despite the proximity of her mother.
“The case is very serious,” he continued. “The defendant’s conduct must have inflicted a certain degree of psychological harm on the victim and the family.”
Unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13 is punishable by life imprisonment, while sex with a girl under 16 carries a five-year term.
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