A 50-year-old Singaporean man was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on Friday (Jan 26) after pleading guilty to one charge of oral rape. The accused, whose identity cannot be revealed due to a court order, coerced his stepdaughter into engaging in a sex act with him under the guise of teaching her self-defense.
According to TODAY, two other similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The incident occurred when the stepdaughter, aged between 16 and 17 at the time, moved into a one-room rental flat with her mother, stepfather, two step-siblings, and her own daughter, whom she had given birth to in April 2019.
The victim found out she was pregnant with her then-boyfriend’s child, her mother and stepfather stepped forward to offer her support and care during her pregnancy that is when she moved into a one-room rental flat with her mother, stepfather.
WANTED TO TEACH SELF DEFENCE
In 2020, the stepfather approached the victim while everyone was asleep and took her to his bedroom, where he told her he wanted to teach her how to protect herself against men.
As per the report, he then coerced her into engaging in a sexual act with him and asked her to bite his genitals. The victim complied due to feeling helpless and coerced. She managed to escape the room by pretending to be sleepy.
The stepfather also subjected her to other sexual acts on two separate occasions, which were also part of the charges presented in court.
The ordeal came to light in late August 2021 when the victim confided in her uncle about the abuse. He advised her to leave the flat, and on September 6, she fled with her daughter to stay with her grandparents.
Approximately ten days later, the victim sought assistance from the Thye Hua Kwan Family Service Centre, where she disclosed the sexual abuse by her stepfather. She expressed hesitation in reporting the matter to the police out of fear for her safety and that of her child.
Child protection services were promptly notified on October 5, and a police report was filed two days later. The stepfather was arrested on October 8.
Subsequent assessment by Dr Lau Boon Jia at the Institute of Mental Health revealed that the victim suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder as a result of the abuse.
During sentencing, Deputy Public Prosecutor Rimplejit Kaur argued that the stepfather’s act constituted an abuse of trust and a severe infringement of the victim’s sexual autonomy, classifying it as rape. The prosecution requested a jail term of 11 to 13 years and an additional six months’ imprisonment in lieu of the proposed 12 strokes of the cane due to the accused’s age.
Defense counsel Gregory Fong maintained that the assault lasted for less than a minute and claimed it was intended as a disciplinary measure rather than for sexual gratification.
“It was for purposes of disciplining his stepdaughter and no sexual pleasure was derived by my client as there was an element of pain rather than pleasure,” Mr Fong said according to the report.
During the judgement, the judge agreed that there was both psychiatric harm and an abuse of trust. However, she also acknowledged the mitigating factor of the stepfather pleading guilty, as it spared the victim from reliving the trauma. The judge noted that the trauma had left a lasting impact on the victim’s mental well-being.
In Singapore, anyone found guilty of oral rape can face a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail, along with a fine or caning.
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