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The Straits Times
Jan 13, 2022
After a spat with her daughter, a woman complained to her son about his "rebellious" younger sister, only to be told - for the first time - that the siblings had been sexually assaulted by her former boyfriend when they were children more than a decade ago.
The son told his mother in a series of text messages that he and his sister had kept it from her for more than 10 years.
One message read: "Mama... (the man) used to rape us..."
He also texted her: "Mama, every time you were not around, he'll beat us till we faint... He touched us and made us do weird things.
"Then, whenever you're around, he pretends (it's) nothing. And we didn't tell you because we knew how hard you work. But sometimes, I think my sister goes (through) depression because of this..."
On Thursday (Jan 13), the alleged perpetrator, who is now 48 years old, went on trial in the High Court for various sexual offences against the siblings, who are now 31 and 29 years old.
He is contesting one charge of attempted rape and four charges of molestation allegedly committed against his former girlfriend's daughter from 2000 to 2005, when she was between seven and 13 years old.
The man is also contesting two charges of unnatural sex - an offence that was repealed in 2007 - and one charge of molestation allegedly committed against the boy from 2001 to 2003, when he was between 11 and 13 years old.
However, he admits to three other charges: one for asking the girl to perform acts depicted in pornographic images they viewed together and two for performing a sexual act on the boy on two occasions.
These three charges, together with a charge for failing to report his change of address, have been stood down for now.
The accused, who was between 26 and 32 years old at the time of the alleged offences, cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the identity of the siblings.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong told the court that the siblings' mother introduced the man to them some time in 1999, about six months after they started dating.
He later moved in with them and the siblings called him "Papa".
The siblings' mother held various jobs and was often at work, and the man helped her to care for her children.
The mother broke up with him in 2006 over unrelated matters and chased him out of their home.
The DPP said the sister will testify that in one of the earlier incidents, she awoke to find the man rubbing himself against her.
She will also testify that one afternoon after school, she fell asleep at home and woke up to find that she was naked and the man was trying to rape her, said the DPP.
The DPP said the brother will testify that the man started physically and sexually abusing him when he was in Primary 4.
Neither sibling disclosed the assaults to anyone.
It was only on Dec 12, 2016, following a dispute between mother and daughter, that the son sent text messages to their mother disclosing the abuse, said the DPP.
The mother then arranged for them to meet to lodge a police report.
The police were unable to trace the man as he was not staying at his stated residential address. He was eventually arrested on May 19, 2019, at Tuas Checkpoint.
The man was later diagnosed with paedophilic disorder by a psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health.
The trial continues.