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The Straits Times
September 7, 2020
For nearly five years, a boy was sexually abused by his uncle, who started touching the victim inappropriately when he was five to six years old, and then progressed to more heinous acts.
The offences were revealed years later, when the boy, by then in secondary school, was caught taking an upskirt video and sent for counselling.
At the session, the boy broke down and told the school counsellor he had been abused since he was in Kindergarten 2. The counsellor then alerted the school's management, and a police report was made.
On Monday (Sept 7), the perpetrator, a 54-year-old former technician, was sentenced to 22 years' jail after he pleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated sexual assault by penetration and attempted aggravated sexual assault by penetration.
Seven other charges - five counts of outrage of modesty against a person under 14 and two counts of aggravated sexual assault by penetration - were considered in sentencing.
The man cannot be named because of a gag order to protect the identity of the victim, who is now 16.
The High Court heard that the victim's biological parents had divorced around the time he was born, and he was taken care of by his maternal grandmother.
The boy lived in the same four-room Housing Board flat as the accused, who is married to the boy's maternal aunt. The other occupants were the accused's son and the victim's maternal uncle.
The court heard that the boy called the accused "Baba", a way of addressing a father in Malay, and treated the man as a father.
The man began sexually exploiting the victim in 2010, when he touched the boy over his shorts when they were alone in the kitchen.
The pre-schooler, thinking that his uncle was being playful, laughed it off.
After the first incident, the man would touch the boy frequently when they were alone.
Over the years, the man became emboldened when the boy did not react adversely to the touching, and he moved on to rubbing himself against the victim.
Some time between 2013 and 2014, the man told the boy to follow him to the toilet and made him perform oral sex on him. On another occasion, he tried to sodomise the boy.
The boy only realised the actions were wrong after attending sex education classes in 2017 but did not reveal the offences until he was caught taking the upskirt video in August 2018.
A psychiatric report said the victim felt some anger towards the man for abusing him, but also felt guilt towards the man's son for reporting the abuse.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gregory Gan said the man had exploited his nephew's naivete and trust by committing progressively severe sexual acts on him.
The frequency of the acts led to the victim's exposure to sexual activity at an extremely early age, he said.