Father accused of raping daughter: Trial court hears closing arguments


SINGAPORE: The prosecution and defence in a case of a man accused of raping his daughter after years of sexual abuse made their closing arguments on Monday (Feb 5), with the prosecution painting him as an evasive and combative witness and the defence poking holes in the alleged victim’s testimony.

The prosecution urged the judge to convict the 37-year-old man of all 13 charges against his biological daughter, including sexual assault, aggravated rape and showing pornography to his daughter.

A team of prosecutors led by Deputy Public Prosecutor David Khoo argued that the man’s daughter was an unusually convincing witness who could provide detailed and textured accounts of the many incidents against her, while pointing the finger at the accused for “assassinating” his own daughter’s character.

Defence lawyers Ramesh Tiwary and Cory Wong urged the court to acquit their client of all charges instead, saying the prosecution had not proven its case and pointing out discrepancies in the alleged victim’s accounts, claiming that she was lying in all her allegations.

The prosecution’s case is that the man “systematically groomed” his daughter from when she was in kindergarten, beginning with the procurement of an indecent act in the toilet and culminating in rape in August 2019 when the girl was 12.

The girl was exposed to porn from a tender age and engaged in self-harm, the prosecution alleged. Among the witnesses called for the prosecution’s case were the girl herself, her friends whom she had told about the sex acts, and her teacher who saw cuts on her wrist.

The defence’s case was described as “all or nothing” – meaning he denied every single accusation of sexual abuse. The lawyers put forth a case alleging that the daughter was lying, with the accused testifying about how she purportedly began lying from a young age.

In particular, the lawyers produced text messages surrounding an alleged incident of sexual assault during cookie baking to show that their client had been busy with work and did not have time to bake with his daughter as promised that night.

Another incident where much ink was spilled involved a sex toy. The accused claimed that he had found it near his daughter’s pillow.

He had purchased the toy about a month earlier in August 2019 – with receipts shown to the court – and claimed it was to surprise his wife, for their anniversary.

However, the prosecution pressed him on why he did not tell his wife about it at all even after the anniversary came and went, and did not use it on his wife.

Instead, the prosecution charged that he had used it on his daughter and had always intended to use it on her.

PROSECUTION’S ARGUMENTS

On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor David Khoo urged the judge to recall how the alleged victim had tried her very best to give evidence, despite her young age of 15 at the time and the many incidents she had to recall.

“When your honour evaluates her evidence, I urge your honour to look at her evidence through the lens of a child victim who has gone through this … traumatic experience,” said Mr Khoo.

He said it would be expected that her evidence would have discrepancies depending on how the questions were asked and when they were asked. At times, she could have forgotten some details, said Mr Khoo.

Justice Valerie Thean said the sex toy was an important part of the evidence. However, the girl had told a doctor that a sex toy was used on her five times in June 2019 and said similar things to her friends.

However, the investigating officer testified that the sex toys in question were only purchased on Aug 20, 2019.

“That’s quite material, right,” said the judge.

Mr Khoo explained that the girl had not mentioned a sex toy to her friends, instead referring to sex acts. In early September 2019, she told one of her friends that she had “lost her virginity”, said Mr Khoo.

He said it “must have been a mistake” for the girl to tell the doctor that the sex toy was used on her in June, highlighting that the point of the doctor’s interview was to examine her for signs of abuse and not to get a complete account of the sexual abuse.

Mr Khoo and his colleagues, prosecutors Mr Tay Jia En and Ms Kelly Ng, argued in their written submissions that the alleged victim’s account contained a “ring of truth”.



This article was originally published by a www.channelnewsasia.com . Read the Original article here. .