SINGAPORE – A man molested his 12-year-old daughter in 2015 and then cried and begged forgiveness after she told her mother but he accosted the girl again the following year.

The man outraged his daughter’s modesty on three further occasions – in September and October 2016, when she was 13 – after the initial attack, a court was told.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur found the 40-year-old man guilty of four counts of molestation on Thursday (Sept 19) after a trial. He cannot be named to protect the girl’s identity.

The man first molested the girl in their flat in the eastern part of Singapore on Sept 13, 2015.

Her mother told police that when she came home from work, the girl’s grandmother said that the man and the victim had spent “quite some time” in the master bedroom.

The mother was also told that after the man went to work, the girl complained to her grandmother that her buttocks felt sore.

The girl’s mother later told her daughter that she “loved her a lot” and asked her to tell the truth.

The child said her father had rubbed his genitals against her before cleaning off with some tissue that he placed in a plastic bag.

The mother retrieved the bag and confronted her husband the next day.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Yvonne Poon and Tan Zhongshan stated in submissions: “(She) told him that she knew what was going on between him and (their daughter). The accused cried and begged for forgiveness.”

But he went on to molest his daughter again in September 2016 and on the 10th and 12th of October.

The girl said that she was in the master bedroom in the morning that day with her brother and father when the man told the boy to leave.

The father then molested the girl until she felt a “watery substance” on her lower back.

The children’s grandmother learnt about what he had done and alerted the police at around 12.30pm that day. Officers arrested the man at the flat and took him to Bedok Police Division.

Swabs were taken from the girl that day and the father’s DNA profile was found on her lower back.

The swabs also tested positive for prostate-specific antigen, a protein found in body fluids such as semen and blood.

Prosecutors stated that the girl, her brother and their mother had given police statements that incriminated the man but during the trial, they “distanced themselves” from the incriminating contents.

The DPPs stated: “(The girl) had a strong motive to lie to protect the accused when testifying in court. (She) testified that she loved the accused and did not want anything bad to happen to him.”

The prosecutors added that the man’s wife also had a strong motive to lie to protect him, noting that she had testified in court that she loved him and that she would “always forgive everyone”.

The judge said on Thursday that she believed the trio’s police statements and convicted the man.

The father, who was unrepresented, had earlier claimed that he showed his daughter his genitals as “education and creation of awareness about the boundaries that should be in place in a friendship”.

DPP Tan urged Judge Kaur to sentence the man to at least five years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane as the case involved an “extremely grave betrayal of trust”.

The father is out on bail of $15,000 and is expected to be sentenced on Sept 25.

He could be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned for each count of molestation.