Man who sexually abused teen girl he wanted to adopt had no criminal record: MSF, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man who sexually abused teen girl he wanted to adopt had no criminal record: MSF

The man who sexually abused a teenage girl whom he wanted to adopt had no criminal record and adverse history, and professionals did not detect any abuse during regular check-ins with the offender, his wife and the victim.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) on Dec 4 said the couple were volunteers at the therapeutic group home where the girl was residing.

The teen, who was under the care of MSF, had moved in with the home after her father subjected her to sexual abuse in January 2018.

The girl, who was 16 when she moved in with the couple, was in the process of being adopted when she was sexually assaulted by the man who wanted to take her in.

The 39-year-old man was on Nov 28 sentenced to 10 years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to four counts of exploitative sexual penetration of a minor who is 16 or 17. Another nine charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing.

Between September and mid-November 2020, the man subjected her to multiple forms of sexual penetration, including sodomy. The acts took place almost daily.

MSF said that despite weekly check-ins with professionals to monitor the girl’s well-being, safety and progress, as well as the couple’s regular sessions with professionals to assess their ability to care for her, no sexual abuse concerns were detected.

The man who abused her was a manager at a youth leadership development firm at the time and the father of two young boys. He cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity.

The girl was 13 in June 2017 when her mother killed herself in front of her. In January 2018, her father subjected her to sexual abuse by touching her inappropriately. MSF placed her in the care of a family friend.

In June 2018, one of her close friends committed suicide and the girl later engaged in self-harm. Assessed to be a suicide risk, she was placed in a centre designed to help girls who suffered trauma or abuse to reintegrate into society.

The company that the offender was working in was running a camp for girls in June 2019. This was where he met the victim, who was a camp participant.

During the camp, she told the offender that she was hoping for foster care or adoption, as she could not return to her biological family.

The man’s wife agreed with his decision to adopt the girl. His family was later assessed by MSF to be suitable caregivers.

MSF said the girl did not disclose the abuse to professionals supporting her until she told her school teacher in November 2020. “Although the young person had some signs of self-harm, that would not have indicated that she was being sexually abused, as due to her past trauma history, she had ongoing self-harm behaviour before she was under the care of the couple.”

The teen is now staying with her relatives and receiving support from a family service centre social worker and a hospital psychologist.