One of four brothers who sexually assaulted sister sentenced to reformative training

SINGAPORE – One of four brothers who sexually abused their sister while he was a teenager was sentenced by the High Court on June 26 to reformative training for at least 12 months.

Reformative training is a regime in which young offenders are detained at a centre for at least six months and put through rehabilitation programmes.

The offender, who had been 16 or 17 years old when he committed the offence, pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault by penetration in February.

Seven other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing, comprising one count of aggravated sexual assault by penetration and six counts of outrage of modesty.

The offender, who is now 20, is the third eldest of the brothers and the third to be sentenced.

The eldest, who pleaded guilty to eight charges of aggravated sexual assault by penetration and had been between 18 and 21 years old when he committed the offences, was sentenced to 20 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane on May 20.

A day later, the second brother was sentenced to 18 years’ jail and 24 strokes after he pleaded guilty to three charges of aggravated rape. He was 16 to 20 years old when he committed these offences.

In sentencing the third brother, Justice Hoo Sheau Peng said he was not a hardened and recalcitrant offender, and that rehabilitation was the dominant sentencing consideration.

The prosecution had sought eight to nine years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane, while defence counsel Ashvin Hariharan urged the court to accept the recommendations of a report that found his client suitable for reformative training.

Justice Hoo agreed with the prosecution that the victim, who is now 14 and has been referred for trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy, suffered significant harm.

But she said the harm was not solely a result of the third brother’s offending, but also that of the three other brothers. She noted that the prosecution did not dispute that, of the four brothers, the third-eldest brother’s offending conduct was the least egregious.

According to court documents, he had touched and sexually violated the victim on at least four occasions in 2020, even as she tried to resist his advances.

By the time he began abusing his sister, his three brothers had sexually assaulted her on at least one prior occasion.

He knew that his two older brothers were sexually assaulting the victim but decided to “keep quiet”.

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