KOTA KINABALU: The Sessions Court here yesterday sentenced a local man to 15 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane after he admitted to raping his 12-year-old biological daughter.
The 49-year-old accused admitted before judge Dean Wayne Daly that he had raped the victim on March 15, this year at a residential home in Beaufort, at around 10pm.
The offence is framed under Section 376 (3) of the Penal Code which carries imprisonment of between eight years and 30 years, and whipping upon conviction.
Based on the facts of the case, the victim claimed to have been raped since she was 10 years old. However, she could no longer remember the first incident.
Investigations revealed that the victim’s mother was in Kundasang when the latest incident happened on March 15.
The victim was sleeping when she was abruptly awoken by the accused who was on top of her. She was also coerced into keeping silent.
The student of a boarding school had opened up to her two teachers about this incident, and with their help and the school principal, lodged a police report against the accused.
She is the third child in a family of six siblings. An early medical report also revealed that she had an old tear in her vagina.
In meting out his judgment, Dean said it was evident through the victim’s impact statement that she sees her own father as a harmful figure.
He remarked that the accused had clearly breached his responsibilities as a father, and even more so, taken advantage of the helpless victim, as the incident happened in the absence of her mother.
He then agreed with the prosecution that the interest of the public must be considered in this case as the offence is contradictory to societal norms and values.
He said the punishment needs to illustrate the gravity of the offence and serve as a deterrent to any would-be offenders who share similar intentions.
The accused had mitigated for a lenient sentence. However, deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Nazneen Zullkifli had pleaded for a heavier, deterrent sentence.
He said that the rape was detrimental to the emotional and psychological health of the victim, and will remain a thorn in her personal history throughout her life.
Ahmad also said that there were no special circumstances for the court to sympathize with the accused on his offence despite his guilty plea.