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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Girl abused by family friend for 7 years

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:08 PM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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FOR more than seven years, from when she was eight, a girl was sexually abused over and over by a temple medium whom her parents regarded as a close family friend.

He was a 'spiritual adviser' to the child's father, who was also a temple medium.

They trusted him so much that they let him sleep in their flat on many occasions, during which time he would abuse the child.

After the couple divorced, the girl's mother left her daughter alone with him and even let him have her stay in his flat during school holidays.

Yesterday, the man, now 59, admitted to multiple charges of sexually abusing the girl, now 16 years old, and was jailed for 24 years.

Married with four children aged 18 to 23, he will not be caned as he is above the age of 50.

Looking skinny and dishevelled in court, the former coffee shop assistant faced 44 charges for offences dating from January 2001 to May last year.

Because of the years of continual abuse, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Gordon Oh, the child had grown into a teenager who hated herself, mutilated her body and was promiscuous.

'That the victim's own mother would unwittingly send her own daughter into the lion's den was only possible because the accused had shamelessly betrayed the trust bestowed upon him by the victim's family,' said the prosecutor.

The High Court heard that the girl's father and the man got to know each other in 2000, when they were mediums in a Chinese temple and also did odd jobs for the same employer.
He became a close family friend - called 'uncle' by the victim and her three younger sisters - and was regularly invited to sleep over at the family's four-room flat.

In early 2001, while he was watching TV with the girl and her younger sister, he began stroking the younger girl's leg. When she moved away, he turned his attention to the victim, who responded by hugging him.

The touching became more frequent and one night, he took her into the study where he slept and raped her. No one heard her cries and he told her not to tell anyone about it.

He carried on raping her at her parents' flat.

After the couple divorced in 2004, the girl moved into a rented flat with her mother. But her rapist remained in her life when her mother let him babysit her while she worked.

Her three other sisters lived with their father.

By 2006, the rapist was having the teenager stay in his flat during the school holidays.
If she refused to go over when he summoned her, he would have her mother send her.

The abuse became more depraved. On one weekend in June 2006, he violated the then 13-year-old with a banana despite her protests. He then sodomised her and stopped only when she kicked him.

Then in February last year, he violated her with a stick used to strike a bell during prayers.

The abuse came to light a few months later, in July, when the girl confided in an aunt. It was only then that her parents learnt of her ordeal. They went with her the next day to make a police report.

Yesterday, the man pleaded for leniency, saying he was remorseful and in anguish every day. Citing his age and poor health, he asked for a 'reasonable sentence' so that he could spend the rest of his years peacefully with his family.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of rape, one count of committing an indecent act on a child, one count of sodomy and two counts of sexual assault of a minor. The rest of the charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

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