A 25-year-old man was on Monday (Jun 6) sentenced to seven-and-a-half years’ jail for sexually abusing his step-brother and step-sister, who were aged just 10 and eight when he forced them to perform sex acts on him in 2012.
The abuse only came to light a year later, when the father caught the young boy forcing his sister to perform a sex act on him.
The boy said he had learned this from his step-brother and a family friend, both of whom had sexually assaulted him.
The family friend, a 53-year-old man who had fallen on hard times and was taken in by the family, had sexually assaulted the boy since he was seven. He was sentenced to six years’ jail last year.
The victims’ step-brother pleaded guilty last month to one charge of sexual assault and two charges for committing an indecent act with a child.
The victims and their abusers cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victims’ identities.
The court heard that sometime in 2012, the man took his then-10-year-old step-brother to a public carpark opposite Block 29 Havelock Road, where he forced the boy to perform a sex act on him.
On another occasion in June 2013, when the step-brothers were alone at home, the accused covered the younger boy's mouth and brought him to another room, where he again sexually assaulted the boy.
The man did the same to his younger sister, then just eight years old, in June 2013. He covered the girl’s eyes and brought her into a room before sexually assaulting her.
Each time, he would tell his younger siblings not to mention the abuse to their parents. The victims and the abuser share the same mother.
In sentencing the man to seven-and-a-half years’ jail, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan cited the age of the victims and the degree to which they were sexually exploited.
The judge said the boy would have been particularly vulnerable and defenceless, having been the victim of an earlier episode of sexual assault by his father’s friend. The boy is also of low intelligence, the court heard.
The accused, the boy’s older brother, also suffers from a mild intellectual disability, with social functioning in the “extremely low range”. These allowed him to be exempted from serving National Service, the court heard.
But he was still able to control his younger siblings, Judge Shaiffudin noted. He was their older brother, “looked upon to provide care and protection … instead he abused them”, the judge said.
The judge added he would place little weight on whether the victims had forgiven their brother for sexually abusing them, in light of their familial relationship.
The prosecution and defence had earlier disagreed about whether the children, now 14 and 11, had told investigators that they had forgiven their brother.
For sexual assault, the accused could have been sentenced to up to 20 years’ jail with caning. For committing an indecent act with a child, he could have been jailed up to five years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.