Singapore—A man who abused his stepdaughter for over two decades has received a jail sentence of eight years, nine months and eight weeks on Monday (Jan 11).
Prosecutors on the case called it “the worst case of sexual abuse involving acts of outrage of modesty to appear before the courts to date,” according to The New Paper (TNP).
Neither the perpetrator, who is a 67-year-old bus driver, nor his victim, who is now 33, have been named in the media, in order to protect the woman’s identity.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of molestation last October, and nine additional charges were also considered when his sentence was given.
The bus driver began living with the girl’s family in 1990, when she was very young, eventually marrying her mother nine years later.
At that point, the man she called “Papa” had already been targeting the girl for abuse.
According to Sruthi Boppana, the Deputy Public Prosecutor at the trial on Oct 14, “Over the years, the victim grew accustomed to the acts of sexual abuse as these had become the norm.
She had resigned herself to her predicament and believed her only way out was to either end her life or wait until she turned 35 years old to move out into her own flat.”
The victim was aware that she and her family depended on the stepfather to support them financially, and chose not to tell her mother about the abuse as she was afraid she wouldn’t believe her.
Therefore, the victim kept her silence for years.
When she was 12, she asked her stepfather to help her apply some medicine.
However, when he did it, he went on to molest her, which caused her to feel disgust and embarrassment.
The DPP, who had asked for a jail sentence of 10 years plus 7.5 months as he cannot be caned because of his advanced age, also said that a majority of the incidents happened in the bedroom of the woman, when her stepfather would find himself alone with her when other members of the family were gone or asleep.
Wee Hong Shern, who was the defence lawyer in the case, had only asked for a 6 year and 10 months jail term, saying he was remorseful for his actions.
Even when she locked the door, he could still come in because the lock did not function properly.
On Feb 21, 2017, after the lock had been repaired, the man used a spare key to come in and molest her. Two days later, she filed a police report.