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The Straits Times
January 30, 2023
A Vietnamese man who was invited to stay at a woman’s condominium unit raped her 11-year-old daughter.
Separately, a Malaysian man molested his girlfriend’s daughter, who was six years old at that time, after moving in with them.
Both offenders were sentenced on Monday.
The Vietnamese, who pleaded guilty to a rape charge, was given nine years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
The Malaysian pleaded guilty to two charges related to committing assault with intention of outraging the modesty of someone below 14. He was sentenced to 32 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane.
Both cannot be named as there are gag orders to protect their victims’ identities.
After arriving in Singapore in 2019, the Vietnamese man had his work permit cancelled on March 7, 2020, said deputy public prosecutors Victoria Ting and Matthew Choo. As he could not return to Vietnam due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he was given a special pass that allowed him to stay here until Sept 6, 2021.
During the pandemic, the victim’s mother, who ran a restaurant in Geylang, offered fellow Vietnamese workers stranded in Singapore free food, and the accused started going to the restaurant.
The man and his victim became acquainted as the girl would help out at the restaurant after school.
In March 2021, after the man was asked to leave the shelter he was staying in, the victim’s mother allowed him to stay in the restaurant. But in July 2021, the man was told he could not stay there as he was unvaccinated.
Out of goodwill, the victim’s mother allowed him to stay with her and the girl in a two-room condo unit she was renting in Bedok.
On or about Aug 8, 2021, the Vietnamese told the girl he had romantic feelings for her despite knowing that she was 11 years old. Then some time in August, the man raped the girl in the condo unit.
The victim’s mother found out when a restaurant worker living in the unit told her that he suspected the girl and the offender were romantically involved.
When he was confronted, the Vietnamese admitted to having touched the victim inappropriately. The girl then confirmed that he had raped her.
The mother made a police report and the man was arrested on Aug 26, 2021.
In the other case, the Malaysian man started a relationship with his victim’s mother in 2010, and soon moved in to live with the victim’s family, said DPP Wong Shiau Yin.
Some time in 2011, the man asked the victim to go with him into the toilet. There, he pulled down his trousers and rubbed his private parts against hers for about 10 minutes. Her mother was asleep at the time. DPP Wong said: “The victim did not understand what was happening and therefore did not shout for help. Instead, she kept silent throughout the ordeal.”
But her mother suddenly appeared outside the toilet and told the victim to leave the room.
DPP Wong said the victim did not know what transpired between the offender and her mother, but remembered seeing him kneeling on the floor begging for forgiveness.
Some time later, the man also tried to perform oral sex on the victim.
The offences were brought to light when the victim, who is now 17 years old and suffers from major depressive disorder, confided in an intern at a clinical and health psychology centre, who then referred the matter to the Ministry of Social and Family Development. A police report was made.