Father found guilty of raping daughter twice at knifepoint; judge rejects allegation of consent
The daughter testified that her father had punched her in the head, strangled her and threatened her with a penknife to force her to submit to his sexual deviancy.
A 53-year-old former forklift driver was convicted in the High Court on Wednesday (June 3) of nine charges of raping, molesting, criminally intimidating and causing hurt to his daughter when she was aged 23.
He claimed trial to all charges, alleging that she had initiated and consented to the sexual acts in the wee hours of March 27, 2016. He also sought to have the rape charges amended to those of incest.
His daughter testified that he had punched her on the head, strangled her and threatened her with a penknife to force her to submit to his sexual deviancy.
He cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, who is now 27 years old.
During the trial, he admitted that he had had sex with her twice that morning in March 2016 and engaged in other sexual acts. But he denied touching her private parts, threatening her with a penknife or punching and strangling her.
Justice Hoo Sheau Peng rejected his defence, saying that he was an “untruthful” witness and that his recollection of how she “seduced” him was “inherently incredible”.
After the rapes, he had called his daughter 36 times on her mobile phone between the time when she left the flat until his arrest later that evening and sent her eight text messages and a WhatsApp message, saying in one of them that he was sorry.
The judge pointed to these calls and messages as being contradictory to his story of a consensual encounter.
Justice Hoo accepted the daughter’s version of events instead, adding that her evidence showed she did not consent to any of the sexual acts.
The man, who has been in remand and appeared through video-conferencing platform Zoom, will return next month to be sentenced.
He was represented by Mr Lau Wen Jin, who was appointed to him by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.
For aggravated rape, the man could be jailed up to 20 years. While the offence also carries a mandatory minimum of 12 strokes of the cane, he cannot be caned by law as he is above 50 years old.
The court previously heard that the man had raped his daughter in the flat where they lived with her mother, his ex-wife.
He explained that after he was released from serving a prison sentence for burglary in 2014, he did not have a home to return to, so his daughter told him that he could stay with her and her mother at their flat near Sembawang.
He told the court that he and his daughter had a very “loving relationship”, though it was one that was fraught with difficulties that arose from her "drug and alcohol abuse".
Five days before the sexual assault, the man’s ex-wife had left the flat to stay with her son at his home. This left father and daughter, who was unemployed at the time, alone in the flat.
Early in the morning of March 27, 2016, the pair drank alcohol and talked until she fell asleep.
She testified that she was roused when she felt someone touching her private parts over her shorts, and woke up to see her father was doing it while completely naked.
He then held a penknife at her neck and said: “Don’t shout, I’ll slash you.” He ignored her pleas to let her go.
The man raped her twice, forced her to give him oral sex, and punched and strangled her into compliance when she tried to wrestle the penknife away from him, prosecutors said.
Court documents showed that while holding the penknife to her neck, he had also told her: “Take out your clothings, otherwise I will use the knife to cut you till you die.”
He testified, however, that she had started feeling aroused and initiated sexual acts with him.
He alleged that his daughter told him that she could not control herself. As there was no one else at home, he claimed that his daughter told him to “do it and make her happy”.
Later that morning, she managed to get her mobile phone back from him and left the flat alone on the pretext of buying a drink.
She used the phone to call someone, whose identity was redacted from court documents, and asked him to pick her up.
They went to the Jurong Police Division headquarters, where she met her brother and made a police report. The father was arrested at about 8pm later that day.
Analysts from the Health Sciences Authority testified that the father’s DNA profile was found to match the semen on the daughter's shorts.
A psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health also told the court that the daughter has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, exhibiting depressive symptoms.
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