Jail for man who was first of four brothers to start sexually abusing 8-year-old sister

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SINGAPORE: A man who was the first among four brothers to start sexually abusing their younger sister was on Tuesday (May 21) sentenced to 18 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

Justice Mavis Chionh decided on a longer jail term than the 16 years proposed by the prosecution and defence, which she said was not commensurate with his crime.

The man, now 22, is the second-oldest of the four brothers. The assailants cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the victim.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of aggravated rape, which carries a minimum penalty of eight years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

Another 16 charges of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual assault were considered in sentencing.

The girl was sexually abused by her four brothers from 2018 to 2022, when she was eight to 12 years old.

The brother convicted on Tuesday was the first to start sexually abusing her in 2018. His last assault on her happened only a week before he was arrested in February 2022.

He said he would rather sexually abuse his sister than meet his urges with a girlfriend due to his past experience of being "heartbroken", said Deputy Public Prosecutor M Kayal Pillay.

The man, who was 16 to 20 at the time of the offences, also deliberately chose to assault the victim over her two younger sisters because of her body, said the prosecutor.

The family of four brothers and three sisters lived with their parents. The siblings slept in separate boys' and girls' rooms, while their parents slept in the master bedroom.

The man assaulted his sister in all three bedrooms. On some occasions he did so even when the two other sisters were asleep beside her.

The victim physically resisted his advances and he knew that she did not consent to the sexual activity, the prosecutor said.

The abuse came to light when the victim entered secondary school and found the courage to tell school staff what happened.

She subsequently showed trauma symptoms such as hypervigilance and frequent strong feelings of disgust, fear and sadness.

She was referred for trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy and showed significant improvement after her therapy sessions.

This is the last brother to be convicted in the case. The

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