A 49-year-old man admitted on Tuesday to sexually assaulting a 13-year old, who had considered him her godfather. The man, whose son was friends with the girl, sexually assaulted her on two occasions.

The man met the 13-year-old in mid-2017, while she was hanging out with her friends at a common area of a public housing estate in the east of Singapore, reported CNA. He introduced himself to the group as 'Papa' and offered them cigarettes.

Sophisticated stalking

She would meet him whenever hung out with her friends in that area and gradually started regarding him her 'godfather', the court heard on Tuesday. He would treat her as his daughter, send her text messages every day and would often drop and pick her up from school.

She also introduced her close friend to the men, both of whom would often hang out at his flat. On his part, he used to give them food, cigarettes and sometimes pocket money as well. Girls considered his flat "a safe haven", the Deputy Public Prosecutor said.

Sexual Assault
Representational Image

Assaulted her on two occasions

Around August 2017, the man began giving massages to the victim and her friend while they were lying down, without them asking for it, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao.

The first incident occurred between August and September in 2017. One afternoon, when the girl was alone in the flat with the man, lying on a mattress using her phone, the man came to her and started massaging her legs. Suddenly he pulled her jeans and underwear down, told her to relax when she told him about her discomfort. When she "told him to stop", he complied.

The second time, while she was sleeping at his home with her friend, the man again attempted to outrage her modesty. The incident occurred somewhere between December 2017 and January 2018.

Man texts her of 'betraying him'

Upon learning about the incidents, the victim's mother filed a police complaint on Jan 25 last year. The girl swiftly informed the man about the complaint and that police was looking for him. Between Feb 8 and 10, the man sent Instagram messages to the victim, scolding her for "betraying him" and reminding her of "all the ways that he had helped her". He tried to learn what the victim revealed in her testimony, so that he could tailor his statements. He finally surrendered on Feb 26.

A serial offender

The man is divorced and has two sons. From 1980s, he has been convicted of a number of crimes ranging from robbery, possessing obscene films to rape and sexual assault.

He was most recently convicted for raping a 16-year old in 2006, for which he only came out of prison in 2013. Deputy prosecutor Lee cited "alarming similarities" between the current case and the charges he was convicted for in 2006, saying that both the victims were young and vulnerable and there were "some elements of grooming" involved in both cases.

Alarming similarities

Child abuse
Child ill treated, father arrested (Representational picture) Pixabay

The offender "has not learned his lesson" despite his seven-year sentence, caning and corrective training in 2006, said Mr Lee. His offences in 2017 were "in the same nature" as that of what the corrective training was meant to change, said Mr Lee, adding that the man needed "to be kept away from the public".

For his recent crime, the man, on Tuesday, pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual penetration of a minor under 16, one charge of outrage of modesty and one charge of perversion of justice. For sexual penetration of a minor under 14, he could be jailed up to 20 years, fined or caned.