SINGAPORE: A 40-year-old woman was jailed on Monday (Feb 25) for allowing her lover to sexually assault her daughter for seven years, from the time the girl was seven years old.
The victim told her about the abuse, but when her lover denied the allegations, she turned a blind eye.
As the years went by, and despite her suspicions that her lover was still sexually assaulting her daughter, she agreed to let him take care of the girl in the day while she worked as a cook.
She watched on as her lover went into the shower with her daughter when the girl was 13 years old. They were at the woman's home in Clementi.
By then, her daughter had stopped confiding in her. When she asked the girl if the man had sexually assaulted her, the girl took to lying as she did not want to be the cause of a quarrel between her mother and her lover.
For intentionally not reporting the offences, the woman was on Monday sentenced to six months in jail.
Her 48-year-old lover was last year sentenced to 34 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting and raping the girl and is currently serving his sentence.
All parties cannot be named due to a gag order.
The man - who was married with a son - and the victim's mother started having an affair when the victim was four years old.
The unemployed man, a former taxi driver, started sexually assaulting the girl in 2010, when he was taking care of her at his home during the school holidays.
The man would watch pornographic films in front of the victim and sexually assault her whenever they were alone at home. He would not stop, even as the child begged and complained of “tearing pain”.
The girl told her mother, but she did nothing to stop it, the High Court heard when he was convicted, and again on Monday in the State Courts when the woman was sentenced.
In 2016, he asked the victim to shower with him in front of her mother. The girl complied, and her mother did not intervene. The same year, the victim finally made a police report.
In asking for a six-month sentence, the maximum jail sentence for the offence, the prosecution said that the offences were against a vulnerable and young person and have caused public disquiet.
The victim has suffered "high levels" of harm, added Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling.
"Her selfish reaction caused the escalation of sexual offences against her daughter," she said.
The woman, who was in court accompanied by another woman, was bespectacled and walked with a limp.
She was unrepresented, but said in mitigation that she has to take care of her mother who suffers from cancer, and that she herself suffers from joint pain.
District Judge May Mesenas asked if she has spoken to her daughter and apologised to her. The court heard that the woman has not been allowed to contact her daughter and will be able to do so after she has served her sentence.
The judge said: "As a mother, you should be protecting your own child."
The court also heard that the woman is helping to financially support her daughter, who is staying with her maternal grandparents.
The woman could have also been fined on top of being jailed.