SOURCE: THE STRAITS TIMES
A MAN who raped his niece five times between 2006 and 2009 was sentenced to 19 years’ jail yesterday.
The 54-year-old container packer admitted to two counts of raping the girl in 2006 and 2009; the other three were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Neither can be named due to a gag order.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sellakumaran Sellamuthoo said the first rape in 2006 happened after the accused picked up the girl from school and took her to his Woodlands HDB flat.
He locked her in the bedroom and raped her.
She was 10 years old then.
In 2009, he approached her while she was playing basketball with her friends near her home and asked her to go off with him.
Initially, the girl refused.
By then, she was 13 and had gone for sex education classes in school and knew that what the accused had done to her was wrong, the court heard.
When she told him that she did not want to have sex with him, he threatened to take away the mobile phone he had given her.
She agreed to go with him as she did not want to lose her phone.
He then raped her at his home, and gave her $100.
A year later, the girl ended up in a home for troubled youth.
She told a social worker there about the incidents.
A child psychiatrist diagnosed her to be suffering from depression.
Since the rapes, she had been having suicidal thoughts and had cut herself on the forearm.
Citing aggravating factors such as the victim’s young age and the fact that the accused had abused his position of trust, DPP Sellakumaran asked that a 10-year jail sentence be imposed on each count, with both sentences to run consecutively.
District Judge Mathew Joseph said the accused started with good intentions by regularly giving his niece pocket money but then manipulated her by offering her money only after she had given in to his sexual demands.
“This was both degrading exploitation and perverse humiliation of the victim,’’ he said.
The man was spared the cane because of his age.
Defence counsel Rakesh Vasu said his client was deeply remorseful.
He had also begged the victim for forgiveness.
The defence counsel told the judge that when he asked the accused why the court should give him a chance, the man had replied in tears that he was suffering because what he had done was on his conscience.
The maximum punishment for rape is 20 years in jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.
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