He committed offence four times; girl was 14 when first raped and gave birth last year
A YOUTH who raped his step-sister on four occasions was jailed for 10 years and ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cane yesterday.
The girl, aged 14 at the time of the first rape, had not told her family as she felt ashamed of what had happened. She gave birth to a girl early last year and the child has since been fostered out.
The accused, now 18, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape in February and March in 2009 and the other two charges were considered during sentencing. He cannot be named to protect the girl’s identity.
The pair had been living in the same household since 1997 when the victim’s father married the accused’s mother. They have a younger half-brother.
Arguing for an appropriate jail term and caning, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said the girl was just 14 when she was first sexually assaulted by her step-brother, then 16.
She said the accused had failed to protect his step-sister and betrayed the trust. He repeatedly committed the rapes over a few months with some degree of force used, she added.
The court heard that the accused returned to his Bedok North flat from a juvenile home that weekend in February 2009. A Juvenile Court had sentenced him to stay in a juvenile home for two years from November 2007 for rioting.
He began harassing the victim by hitting her on the arms. She hit him back playfully as they had used to do when they were younger. The accused suddenly felt an urge to have sex.
He caught hold of her and despite her resisting, dragged her into her bedroom and locked the door.
She shouted to her half-brother to take the spare keys and open the door but the accused told the then-nine-year-old boy not to disturb. He then raped her. He repeated the offence when he was on home leave again the following month.
In his oral grounds of decision, Community Court Judge Ng Peng Hong said the accused – assessed to be simplistic in his thinking – was a recalcitrant.
He agreed with the DPP that the accused was undeterred by the Juvenile Court’s rehabilitative sentence, and that a deterrent punishment was needed. The offences were not isolated incidents but a “persistent course of reprehensible conduct”, he added.
The judge did not give much weight to the victim’s undated letter of forgiveness and appeal for leniency as she was young and might not appreciate the seriousness of the matter. “I also caution myself that the victim might have written the letter out of fear and pressure from the family,” he added.
The 16-year-old girl is not currently schooling.
The accused’s lawyer Josephus Tan had asked for a second chance for his client through a stint in reformative training. He said the entire judicial process had taught the accused a very bitter and traumatic lesson in that he now had to shoulder the disappointments of his family and the shame of his actions.
The accused could have been jailed for up to 20 years, fined or caned on each charge.