SINGAPORE — A man who sexually abused his female cousin from when she was eight until she hit puberty was given a year of reformative training (RT) on Thursday (29 October).
The man, now 20, had thought that the cousin, only five years younger than him, would not understand the gravity of his actions. The victim spoke up only when she turned 12 and became worried that she might get pregnant.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to three charges involving molesting and sexually penetrating the victim, now 15, while another 14 charges involving sexual offences were taken into consideration for his sentencing. Both he and the victim cannot be named to protect the girl’s identity.
For his sentence, the man will undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation programme in a closed and structured environment in the Reformative Training Centre. He is also currently waiting to enlist into national service.
The prosecution had earlier asked for a 12-month RT period while the man’s lawyer, Choo Si Sen, sought a six-month term.
Noting the difference in the length sought, District Judge Ronald Gwee said that he agreed with the prosecution in this case as six months would be “insufficient in serving the needs of this particular case”, the chief element of which would be to deter others from following in the same shoes.
“I noted the positive steps taken by the accused but I cannot ignore the very serious nature of the offence that he visited upon a trusting young relative. This sentence is meant to reform him and also meant to prevent crime,” stated the DJ, in passing his sentence on the man.
It was undisputed that the man had committed a “horrendous crime against a young and very vulnerable relative”, which probably will have a lasting and deep-seated effect on her, said the judge.
The judge also considered that the man had managed to stay out of trouble for a “considerable period of time” upon the discovery of offences, but noted with alarm that he had not rid himself of the need for pornography, as was reported by his psychologist.
While the psychologist had recommended a six-month term, DJ Gwee decided for the longer RT term.
The man’s sentence has been stayed for two weeks as he may wish to appeal.
Girl did not understand gravity of his actions
Despite being playmates from a young age, things changed when the man saw his cousin come out of the shower naked in 2014. Then, the girl was only about eight or nine years old. He formed the desire to see her naked again.
Some months later, when his mother and grandmother were away from the flat, the man felt the urge to touch his cousin. He asked for her permission, knowing that she did not understand what he was asking for. The girl agreed and the man ran his hands over her body after removing her clothes. He repeated the act several months later in 2014.
By the end of 2014, the man began to have thoughts about sodomising her and acted on four occasions during the 2015 school holidays without using a condom. He also molested her.
Each time, he would stop after the girl said she felt pain.
In March 2016, the girl had her first menstruation but she still did not understand what the man was doing to her. Convincing her that the sexual acts were only a game, he continued to abuse her throughout 2016.
The girl worried about getting pregnant in 2017, even though there was no vaginal penetration, and confided in two friends about the incidents of abuse. One of her friends told a teacher who brought her to the police station.
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