SINGAPORE: A man who repeatedly molested his sister-in-law while she was asleep was given 14 months’ jail on Thursday (Mar 25).
The 28-year-old man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty to three charges of molestation, with another two charges taken into consideration.
The court heard that the man lived in a flat with his wife and her family. This included his wife’s sister, who was 25 years old at the time of the incident.
Whenever his wife’s grandparents stayed over at the flat, the victim would sleep on a sofa in the living room.
In July 2019, the man woke up in the morning for work and walked past the victim, who was asleep on the sofa.
He touched her breast before leaving for work, and the victim slept through the incident.
At about 4am on Sep 22, 2019, the man returned home from work and saw the victim sleeping on the sofa. He molested her again as she slept, before retreating to the bedroom he shared with his wife.
However, he later crept out of the room and molested the woman again, who slept through the incident.
The man returned to his room again. However, because he had gone undetected the first two times, he decided to molest the victim again “to satisfy his sexual urge”, the court heard.
At about 4.10am, he returned to the sofa and reached into the victim’s shirt to molest her, leaning over her for a few minutes.
This time, the woman woke up at the skin-on-skin contact and the accused quickly returned to his room.
The victim went back to sleep. The next day, she accessed the contents of the closed-circuit television camera in the living room and saw her brother-in-law molesting her.
She called her parents and told them that she did not dare to return home when they were not around.
The prosecutor called for at least 16 months’ jail, saying that the fact that the accused was the victim’s brother-in-law showed a clear abuse of trust and “introduces an element of perversity to the offence”.
District Judge Marvin Bay said there was a high degree of sexual exploitation in this case, as the victim was violated while she was asleep.
“The accused had, after all, been her brother-in-law, and she would have presumed herself to be safe in his home,” he said.
He added that there was considerable premeditation as well as a degree of escalation, and noted that the accused “would not have been brought to account for his acts except by the gumption of the victim to examine the hall CCTV”.
However, the judge also noted the man’s plea of guilt and lack of previous convictions.
For each charge of using criminal force to outrage the victim’s modesty, the man could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these penalties.

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