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May 8, 2010
Ministry not aware of 'monster' dad case Man jailed for molesting daughter returned home, raped her and made her pregnant at 16 By Melissa Sim & Melissa Kok
A CONVICTED molester was allowed to return to his family after serving jail time, where he began abusing his daughter again, this time committing the far worse crime of rape, because child protection authorities did not know about the case. The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) told The Straits Times the standard procedure is to monitor the family closely and make sure a child is safe before allowing her to be reunited with the abuser and the family. Typically, the police refer sexual abuse cases to the Child Protection Service (CPS) once a police report is made, but MCYS said neither the first offence of molest nor the second one of rape was referred to them. However, in a statement last night, police said that after the man was released in 2002, his spouse and family took him back with full knowledge of the nature of his past sexual offence. The statement added: 'They accepted his return and his re-integration into the family. In such a situation where the family was supportive of the ex-offender's re-integration, the authorities must respect their wishes.' The 43-year-old odd job labourer had gone to jail for four years for molesting his daughter when she was six. He began to abuse her again, when she was 13. She became pregnant at 16. Last week, he was sentenced to a second jail term of 36 years and 24 strokes for the abuse. MCYS said that once CPS knows about a case, it arranges for the victim to get psychological assessment, medical attention and counselling, and might make alternative living arrangements. After an offender is released, reintegration is 'handled carefully' and 'monitored closely by CPS' to make sure that the child is safe, said MCYS. An assessment is conducted, and the child's age is considered, as well as the impact of the abuse, the perpetrator's response to intervention and treatment programmes, and the presence of protective adults in the family. In its statement, the police noted that treatment and rehabilitation programmes have been improved over the years. For example, it said, a programme for offenders involved in family violence was started in 2004, in which such prisoners undergo specialised counselling. Once released, those who require follow-up and further monitoring are referred to MCYS-appointed agencies and the police. The programme was expanded to include those involved in intra-family sexual offences last year. Despite these improvements, police said, the 'authorities cannot prevent an ex-offender who has paid his dues to society from returning to his family if that is what the family want in support of his re-integration'.
It added that while police can work with MCYS and others to monitor such cases from time to time, 'ultimately family members also share in being vigilant'. However, Members of Parliament and others told The Straits Times the case had exposed the room for improvement in the social safety net. MP for Aljunied GRC Cynthia Phua said: 'If MCYS was not aware of this case both times, obviously there is a gap. It's good to acknowledge it and try and close the gap.' Mr Seah Kian Peng, Marine Parade GRC MP, said both MCYS and the Home Affairs Ministry should establish the cases that need to be managed after the offender is released from prison. Mr Alfred Tan, executive director of the Children's Society, agreed that once a sexual offender is released from jail, the authorities should 'step in with a systematic and objective psychological test', to determine if the offender is ready to re-enter the family. He said reuniting a family does not depend on the sentiment of family members alone, as they tend to sympathise with a father once he is in jail. sim firstname.lastname@example.org m elk @sph.com.sg
MCYS claims that the Singapore Police Force did not inform them about 'monster' dad's release from prison. He went on not only to molest he...