Hong Kong man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting his daughter since she was 6
- The vegetable seller was once caught in the act by his younger son
- The case finally came to light in 2018 after she told a friend from church
A Hong Kong man has admitted in court to raping his nine-year-old daughter and telling his younger son that it was none of his business when the child caught him in the act.
The High Court heard the sexual attacks spanned nearly six years, since 2011, when the casual vegetable seller, who could not be identified for legal reasons, first attempted to rape his daughter after school.
At the time she was only six, while he was 40.
Acting deputy director of public prosecutions Catherine Ko said the child cried in great pain when her father forcefully attempted the attack but did not put up any struggle because she did not know what was happening.
But by the time she was nine, the girl knew what was coming when her father brought her to the sofa, so she took off her own clothes while he removed his – and raped her for the first time. He paid her HK$500 (US$65) that day.
One of the attacks was later witnessed by the youngest in the family, when the boy, who was about six or seven, saw his father and sister naked in bed through the crack of the door while he was using the computer in the living room.
“It is none of your business,” his father told him, while continuing the rape.
The man last raped the girl in 2017, after which he told her not to tell anyone and said he would try his best to buy her anything she wanted.
The girl, now 14, believed the attacks stopped only because she had started menstruating and her father did not want her to get pregnant as he had never used a condom in any of the previous occasions.
His actions finally came to light in late 2018 when she told one of her friends from church, which then alerted a preacher and the case was reported.
A clinical psychologist who interviewed the girl at the time said she had expressed a strong reluctance to see her father again, and recommended monitoring her mental condition.
On Friday, the father of three pleaded guilty to five counts of rape and two attempted rape charges.
The 49-year-old also admitted to a separate count of ill-treatment of a child by a person in charge of that child, for physically abusing his other daughter, 14, on September 12, 2018 because she wanted to join a school activity.
The court heard she tried to reason with him but he slapped her face, used a cloth hanger to hit her left shoulder, kicked her, pulled her hair and told her to take a shower.
All three children are currently under the care of Po Leung Kuk, a charity organisation.
Defence counsel Phil Chau acknowledged that the case was serious because it was “the grossest breach of trust possible” with a huge age difference between the father and daughter.
But he also noted that the children had “sort of forgiven their father” as seen from their letters to the court. Chau explained that his client had been under a lot of pressure as a single father after the wife left in 2009, although he acknowledged that this was no excuse.
Madam Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling, however, doubted whether the letters were genuine and said their forgiveness was not going to mean much in sentencing a case of this nature as the court had to reflect public abhorrence and impose a severe deterrent jail term.
“How could a natural father do this to his six-year-old – to try and try to rape her until she is nine?” Barnes said. “To rape a child, that has got nothing to do with how hard life is. That is no excuse at all.”
Barnes will deliver sentence on May 29, pending psychological assessments of the father and two of his children.
Rape is punishable by life imprisonment.
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