Earlier this week, a 42-year-old Singaporean man told the High Court there that his stepdaughter, whom he sexually abused when she was eight and nine, was the one who made advances on him
According to a report in TODAY Online, the man had initially intended to plead guilty to the sexual assault of his stepdaughter. However, he now faces more serious charges after his guilty plea was turned down after he claimed that the victim led him on.
While not denying the statement of facts presented in court on Tuesday, 14 May, the accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, did not deny what he had done. However, he claimed that the victim had made advances on him, which he had rejected, and that she had taken his hands to place them on her private parts.
The stepfather allegedly started sexually abusing the victim, who is now 12 years old, in January 2015 after he began living with the victim's family after marrying her mother in April 2013
In the beginning, the stepfather limited himself to just touching the victim's private parts over her clothes. He then abused her while performing various sexual acts.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kavita Uthrapathy, the accused would sometimes commit the acts on his stepdaughter while he lay in bed with her mother.
While the victim suffered in silence as she was afraid that the accused would get angry with her, she eventually confided to her biological father on 17 October 2016, when he suspected something was wrong after she became hysterical.
On Tuesday, the man told the High Court that while his stepdaughter led him on, he wanted to plead guilty as the case had dragged on for too long, causing him and his family undue stress
Only God can help me now.
Following which, DPP Kavita told the court that the accused is making it seem like he was "being forced to plead guilty when it is not the case," reported Malay Mail.
The English daily reported that the man was originally intending to plead guilty on 14 May to one charge of sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in 2015, and two charges of outraging her modesty in 2016. Meanwhile, seven other charges of aggravated outrage of modesty of his stepdaughter were also slapped against him.
He now faces a new set of charges, which includes a more serious charge of attempted rape of a minor. The next hearing date has yet to be set by the court, according to TODAY Online's report.
He could be sentenced to a jail term of between eight and 20 years and could also receive at least 12 strokes of the cane if found guilty of the attempted rape charge.
While Justice Valerie Thean raised the accused's bail from SGD50,000 to SGD80,000, his lawyer, Mr Tan Jeh Yaw, has discharged himself from the case.