Man molested daughter, but report made 9 years later after mum said 'there's no hard evidence'

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Jan 6, 2022

A man molested his daughter in 2009, when she was about five or six years old.

But the police were not alerted despite the girl telling her mother about her ordeal about a month later.

Instead, she told her daughter that "there's no hard, concrete evidence, so there's no point".

The victim, who is now 18, finally made a police report in January 2018, and her father was arrested the following year.

On Thursday (Jan 6), Principal District Judge Toh Han Li convicted the father, now 61, of two molestation charges after a trial.

The man cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

During the trial, she testified that she was eating in the living room of the family flat sometime in 2009 when her father called her into a bedroom. Her mother was not at home at the time.

In their submissions, deputy public prosecutors Krystle Chiang and Samyata Ravindran said: "The accused was only wearing a towel around his waist... The accused was sitting down and using his computer... and he asked her to sit on his right thigh which she did."

The man then grabbed his daughter's left hand and placed it on his genitals.

She "just let him do whatever he (wanted) to do" because he is her father, said the prosecutors.

They added that the girl recalled feeling scared because she did not know what her father was doing.

He then touched his daughter's private parts before she left the room, the court heard.

When her mother returned home soon after, the girl did not tell her what had happened as her father had told her not to do so.

The victim finally broke her silence about her ordeal about a month later.

"Her mother told her to 'never allow anyone (to) touch (her) there ever again' and asked why (the girl) did not tell her earlier," the prosecutors added.

"No police report was lodged at (the time) because her mother told her that 'there's no hard, concrete evidence, so there's no point'."

The victim recalled her mother confronting the man about the incident, but she did not say anything as she did not want to get involved in their quarrel.

The couple later divorced and the man moved out. They had joint custody of the girl and her brother.

The girl testified that she was an upper primary pupil when she watched a YouTube video about a victim of a sexual crime.

She realised her father had committed a "wrongdoing" but did not make a police report as she did not know what to do.

The prosecutors noted that the girl disliked being around boys and started having panic attacks in school close to 2018 "whenever there are a lot of boys".

She later saw a school counsellor who asked her what had triggered the attacks.

She revealed what her father had done, and the police were alerted on Jan 11, 2018.

In his defence, the man said his daughter had fallen off his lap in 2009 and he had caught her before she hit the floor.

His mitigation and sentencing are expected to take place in February.

For each count of molesting a child below 14, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.

The man cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.

The Straits Times

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