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Homesingapore'One of you must be lying': Prosecution tears into father accused of...

'One of you must be lying': Prosecution tears into father accused of raping 12-year-old daughter

SINGAPORE: The prosecution on Thursday (Nov 2) tore into a man accused of raping his daughter when she was 12 and sexually grooming her since she was in kindergarten.

The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, now 16, had denied all sexual acts against her at the opening of the defence’s case on Tuesday.

The man is contesting 13 charges including rape, sexual assault by penetration of various forms and showing pornography to his daughter.

Opening his cross-examination on Thursday morning, lead prosecutor David Khoo said the accused was saying that his daughter was framing him.

The man disagreed at first, claiming that he had said his daughter was lying instead. 

The word “framed” was used in the defence’s case, but the man’s lawyers Mr Ramesh Tiwary and Mr Cory Wong said the terms used might differ from counsel to accused person.

Mr Khoo said he intended to ask the man why and how his daughter would frame him, and when she decided to do so.

“Do you agree with me that one of you must be lying?” asked the prosecutor. “She said you are lying, and you said she framed you.”


Mr Khoo then brought the accused through a series of questions to determine the sort of person his daughter was.

The accused said his daughter was his firstborn child and spent a lot of time with her grandparents when she was one to two years old.

At this time, the man was serving his national service.

Asked to describe any behavioural problems his daughter may have had, he said she liked to “throw temper” when she didn’t get her way.

“Would you say that is unusual behaviour for a girl (of one to two years)?” asked Mr Khoo.

“I wouldn’t know, this is my first child,” answered the accused.

Other examples of misbehaving he described included the girl poking her brother when she was in Primary 1 and arguing with her grandparents.

“But in general, she fits in (and we were) like a happy family,” said the man.

He said he assumed the role of disciplinarian from when his daughter was in lower primary, caning her when she threw tantrums.

Mr Khoo pointed out that the girl was a student counsellor, a role akin to a prefect. Her teachers found her to be a good student and she had no behavioural problems in school, he said.

The accused agreed.

The prosecutor then said the man’s daughter was “just a normal girl” with no problems with her behaviour from birth up until about 12 years old, when the accused first saw that she had engaged in self-harm.

Asked if his daughter liked to sneak out of the house or run away, the man said: “I wouldn’t know.” 

However, he acknowledged that she did not head out without informing him or his wife.


Mr Khoo then brought the man through a series of what the prosecutor called “red flags” in the girl’s behaviour.

The first was in May 2019, when the man found out that his daughter had cut herself after a confrontation with her mother.

The second red flag was when he caught his daughter supposedly watching pornography for the second known time. She had purportedly started watching it in Primary 1 or 2, an incident his wife told him about.

After the first instance, her parents switched her phone to one without internet access.

In the second incident, the man saw his daughter with an adult video paused on an iPad. Before this, he heard the sound of an object dropping which he said was a vibrating comb.

All of this alleged activity was against the backdrop of the accused’s mother telling him she had caught her granddaughter in a sex act when she was younger.

Another red flag was in September 2019, when the accused claimed to have found a sex toy on his daughter’s pillow.

Mr Khoo took the accused through each of these incidents, questioning him about his actions or lack of them.


Mr Khoo spent a prolonged period of time questioning the accused about the vibrating comb, asking what the accused suspected his daughter was doing with it.

The man repeatedly said he did not know what she was doing, and that his main concern was her watching pornography. 

He said that his response was to ask his daughter to speak to her mother about it.

“I have to put it to you – that the vibrating comb incident, that you saw a vibrating comb on the floor, it did not happen,” said Mr Khoo. “Because you heard what your daughter said (in her evidence) right? She said she has never seen a vibrating comb at (the) house.”

The accused disagreed.

Mr Khoo similarly asked the man what he thought his then 12-year-old daughter was doing with a sex toy when he found it on her bed.

The man again said he thought it was best for his daughter to talk to her mother about it.

After a back-and-forth with the prosecutor pressing the man for his “opinion” on the incident, the accused later claimed that he had purchased the sex toy to surprise his wife for their anniversary in August.

However, at the time of the toy being discovered on his daughter’s bed – in September 2019 – the man had yet to “surprise” his wife with it.

Mr Khoo then questioned the accused about how he could have asked his daughter to speak to her mother about the toy, if the mother didn’t even know about its existence.

“You haven’t told her, you haven’t used it on her. So what is this thing about asking (your daughter) to speak to her mum about the (sex toy)? How does it connect?” asked Mr Khoo.

“The mother would have no context whatsoever, am I right?”

The accused acknowledged this.

Mr Khoo asked why the man didn’t scold or punish his daughter after finding the sex toy on her bed.

The accused said this was because the incident followed a parent-teacher meeting where his daughter had shared her feelings on why she had harmed herself.

Mr Khoo put it to the accused that he had not found the sex toy on his daughter’s bed; and if he had, he would have at least scolded her.

This was because it was at least the second time the accused knew that his daughter was engaging in such activity. 

The man’s daughter had also testified that she feared her father because of how he would cane her, said Mr Khoo.

“I put it you that your reaction is completely out of sync of how a normal father would behave, if that father were to catch the daughter with a (sex toy),” the prosecutor added. “Completely off.”

“I wouldn’t know how other fathers would react,” responded the accused.

Mr Khoo then put it to the man that he had never intended the sex toy for his wife, but for his daughter and that he did use it on the girl. The man disagreed.

“Before you bought the (toy) you knew that your wife doesn’t like (sex toys) am I correct?” asked Mr Khoo.

The man agreed.

“But despite that you bought (the toys)?” asked the prosecutor.

“She didn’t like it but if you go through the (video of police questioning the accused in 2019 played in court), I was explaining that we are trying new positions,” said the accused.


Mr Khoo questioned the man why, as his child’s disciplinarian, he did not cane his daughter when he found out about the various concerning acts involving the pornography and the sex toys.

He asked why the man had switched his daughter’s phone when she was first caught watching porn in Primary 1 or 2, but continued to give her access to an iPad after the second time she was caught watching porn.

“Were you concerned? Your daughter was watching porn and was caught the second time?” asked Mr Khoo.

“I remember that … that time, or my role, I need to work and earn money, so yes I would say I’m concerned, but my focus is to bring in money for the home,” answered the accused.

“I put it to you – your reaction when you caught her watching porn the second time … was because you know that you were the one who taught her how to watch porn,” said Mr Khoo.

The man disagreed.

Mr Khoo also grilled the accused about a message his daughter had sent to a friend in July 2019, saying her father had raped her.

He questioned the accused on how he reacted.

The man said he and his wife confronted their daughter and told her it was a very serious allegation.

“I told her to talk to anyone, talk it out,” said the accused.

He said he did not raise his voice at his daughter or punish her. 

After letting his wife speak to his daughter alone, they decided to spend more time with their daughter, the man said.

“That’s all?” asked Mr Khoo. “Decided to spend more time? Were you angry?”

“Yes, the feeling is unpleasant, I’m not sure how to put it in words; angry, or I got frustrated, I feel upset, it’s a bit of mixed emotions,” said the accused.

Mr Khoo then brought the accused through his daughter’s version of events.

According to the girl, when the two of them were alone, the accused sat at the edge of a bed crying, asking his daughter why she had done that to him.

He purportedly said he was hurt by her actions and asked her, “Don’t you enjoy what I did to you?”

The accused disagreed that this happened.

“I put it to you that your wife, at the time, shouted at (your daughter) and told her that she should be ashamed of herself,” said Mr Khoo. The accused disagreed.

According to Mr Khoo, the accused then instructed his daughter to send a message to her friend saying that she had made it up.

The trial continues.

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