22 years' jail for man who sexually assaulted ex-girlfriend's daughter

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For 14 months, a young girl was sexually abused by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, who violated her at night when everyone else was asleep, the High Court heard on Thursday (June 25).

The 36-year-old man admitted that, apart from sexual gratification, he had also abused the girl, who was nine when he first preyed on her, to get back at his girlfriend’s mother.

The former delivery attendant said he was angry with the woman for not accepting him into the family and he wanted to hurt her by assaulting her favourite grandchild.

The man, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity, was sentenced to 22 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual assault by penetration.

Another 21 charges, for aggravated outrage of modesty and aggravated sexual assault by penetration, were taken into consideration.

The man, a divorcee with a 14-year-old daughter, started a relationship with the girl’s mother, a divorced mother of three, in 2013 after they met through Facebook. 

In August 2015, he moved in to live with the woman’s family in their two-room rental flat.

He gave the woman about $150 to $200 every two weeks, bought groceries for the household, and was a father figure to the victim and her younger brother and sister.

Between February 2016 and April 2017, he sexually abused her on multiple occasions, starting when she was nine years old and continuing until she was 10.

In the middle of the night, he sexually violated her without her consent and rubbed himself against her.

He moved out in February 2017, but when the girl’s mother was hospitalised for three days in end-April 2017 and entrusted her children to his care, he took the opportunity to abuse the girl again.

On May 5, 2017, she told her form teacher that the man had touched her inappropriately, as she was worried that he would use her her mother’s illness as an excuse to sleep overnight at the flat again.

The school counsellor alerted the Ministry of Social and Family Development and a police report was lodged.

The man was arrested on the same day.

On Thursday, he told the court in a remote hearing that he felt remorseful and regret for what had happened and that he did not have the intention to cause harm. - THE STRAITS TIMES