SINGAPORE: A district judge on Thursday (Mar 16) threw out the case of a man accused of molesting his 12-year-old daughter while she wore a virtual reality (VR) headset.
The 35-year-old man went on trial last January for one charge of outraging the modesty of his daughter in his bedroom sometime between July and November 2018.
On Thursday, he was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal for the single charge.
He faces four other charges of outraging the girl's modesty, which were stood down during the trial.
The identities of father and daughter are protected by a gag order.
The man had previously testified that he often disciplined his daughter, and that he believed these disciplinary measures, including threats to remove privileges, motivated her allegations against him.
District Judge Brenda Tan said that the girl's evidence was inconsistent in numerous aspects, and that she was not a compelling or unusually convincing witness.
The judge said she was satisfied that the credibility of the girl, who is now 16, has been "impeached".
"While I accept that she appears to have no apparent motive to lie about the molests, the prosecution has not discharged the evidential threshold of proving the charge against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt," she found.
The girl's father did not know of her existence for the first seven years of her life, as he did not know that her mother was pregnant when they broke up. The couple reconnected in 2014 and got married.
The girl was not told that the man was her biological father. She knew him as her stepfather until the point that she reported the allegations against him in 2020.
At trial, the man denied all the allegations. Defence lawyers Ashwin Ganapathy and A Meenakshi of IRB Law argued that living, working and sleeping arrangements in the house would have made it impossible for him to commit the alleged acts.
The defence also argued that the girl had lied in her testimony. They said that the pair's relationship was close at first, and that the man spoilt his daughter, who was "the apple of his eye".
But their relationship started to deteriorate from 2017 due to disciplinary issues, with the father's disciplinary methods ranging from verbal...