Featured News Father of 6 says he had sex with 11-year-old neighbour to "entertain...

Father of 6 says he had sex with 11-year-old neighbour to “entertain and let her experience sexual acts”

The man was sentenced to 10 years jail and six strokes of the cane

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A 37-year-old father of six young children was sentenced yesterday (17 July) to 10 years’ imprisonment and six strokes of the cane after he admitted to one count of statutory rape, for having sex with his 11-year-old neighbour.

Neither the perpetrator nor the victim can be named due to a court-mandated gag order, intended to protect the identity of the victim, who is now 13 years old.

The court heard that the victim’s family moved into the block the man was living in, on 29 July 2017. The man’s family and the girl’s family became close and would have regular family gatherings at their homes.

The man and the girl’s stepfather became so close that the girl’s stepfather employed the man as an operations manager at his transport company in early 2018 and gave him use of the company’s delivery van.

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The girl initiated contact with the man and began messaging him on WhatsApp, without the knowledge of her family, in March 2018. On 16 March, she told the man that she liked him but she knew he was married.

The man, a sole breadwinner who supports his three children with his ex-wife and three children with his current wife through his job that pays him S$3,000 a month, responded and told the girl that he can have up to four wives.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min told the court that when the girl asked whether he was concerned about her age, he responded that “age was just a number.” He proceeded to address the girl as “darling” in his messages and exchanged pornographic videos with the girl.

On 10 May, less than two months since they began their secret correspondence, the man asked the girl to visit his flat. When the girl arrived, the man – who was alone at home – asked her to go to his bedroom, where he engaged in sexual activity with her on the bed for half an hour.

He then told the victim that he had to pick up his wife and children and the victim left the house. A mere five days later, the man asked the girl to meet him at the void deck of their block at night.

He picked her up with the delivery van the girl’s stepfather had given him and drove to a nearby multi-storey carpark. At the carpark, the pair sat on a sofa at the back of the van and began kissing, before proceeding to have unprotected sex.

The man dropped the victim off at their block after the incident. The court heard that the girl, who was a virgin, realised her underwear was stained with blood.

The man’s acts came to light when the girl’s parents grew suspicious that the pair were communicating. On 11 June 2017, about a month since the first incident, the girl confessed to her parents and the man admitted to what he had done when the victim’s parents confronted him at his flat.

The police were notified and arrested the man that very day. The man told the police that he was not in a relationship with the victim but had known that it is unlawful to engage in sex with an underage person.

DPP Lim said: “(The man) also told the police that he had engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim ‘for fun’ and wanted to ‘entertain and let her experience the sexual acts’.”

A medical examination showed that the victim suffered a hymenal tear but was not pregnant.

The prosecution sought at least 10 years in jail and six strokes of the cane, arguing that the man exploited the girl’s naivety treated her as a plaything for his own sexual gratification. DPP Kavita Uthrapathy said: “At that tender age, the victim was not in a position to appreciate or understand the implications of a sexual relationship.”

The prosecution also argued that the man had sexually groomed the victim by calling her “darling” and exchanging pornographic videos with her.

The defense, Mohamed Fazal Abdul Hamid, agreed with the prosecution’s proposed sentence but pointed out that it was the victim who had first approached the man and participated in sending explicit videos to his client.

Mr Fazal argued that this is contradictory to the prosecution’s argument that “the victim did not understand the implications of a sexual relationship.”

The man could have been jailed a maximum of 20 years for statutory rape. One count of committing an indecent act with a child, one count of sexually penetrating a minor with his penis and one count of possessing obscene films were taken into consideration for his sentencing. -/TISG

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