A father finds out that his 14-year-old daughter is sexually involved with her boyfriend. Despite repeated warnings, the couple do not stop their relationship. He decides to make a police report against her boyfriend. -TNP
Dad: My teen is too young
IT WAS bad enough for this father to find out that his 14-year-old girl had been having sex regularly.
But things got worse.
Even after making a police report and repeatedly warning his daughter's boyfriend, the sexual trysts continued right under his nose.
It all started when the father, David, found out that his daughter had sex with a 17-year-old polytechnic student last November.
The young couple have been together for over a year.
He hit the roof when he found out about it in January.
To protect the identity of the daughter, we are not giving the real names of those involved.
When David, who is in his 40s, first wanted to report the boyfriend to the police, he decided against it to give the boy one more chance.
In the eyes of the law, girls aged between 12 and 14 are considered victims of statutory rape. Cases involving girls below the age of 12 are investigated as rape.
The boy could have been jailed up to 10 years or fined if he had been convicted.
There have been several such cases in the last few months. (See report on facing page.)
David said that he immediately called the couple for a talk when he found out about their trysts.
He said: 'I sat both of them down and told the boy that my daughter is still young and can't make decisions (about sexual relationships).
'I also told him that he's still studying, has no job and can't take care of my daughter. I said I will give him a second chance by not going to the police.'
David said that the boy apologised and promised not to see his daughter anymore. David even informed the boy's parents and told them to control their son.
He said that he would never have found out their secret if not for the jealousy of her boyfriend.
The boyfriend had called David this January and warned him that his daughter was also seeing someone else and that 'they could be doing it'.
David got worried and told him that he'll be sending his daughter for a medical checkup.
He said: 'I also warned him that if I did that, I might also be able to find out if my daughter had sex with him. That was when he confessed and said that he had sex with my daughter last November.'
After that warning, David sent his daughter (now in Secondary 3) to school every day, while his wife took time off daily from work to fetch her home in the afternoon.
David said he tried talking to his daughter but she was non-communicative and didn't want to talk about her relationship with the boyfriend.
Their precautions came to naught.
Their daughter continued to keep in contact with her boyfriend secretly, and even skipped lessons to meet him.
David found out that she had sex again with the boyfriend in January after reading an SMS on her handphone that she had sent to the boyfriend.
Her message said that she was guilty about having sex again and wondered if she could be pregnant. Furious, David made a police report against the boy that month.
He said: 'We're under tremendous stress having to make a living and to guard her. We are very concerned that our daughter might end up pregnant or even get Aids.'
Then something else happened. In February this year, his daughter jumped down from the second floor of their condo and fractured both her arms.
Said David: 'We had locked the main door to prevent her from leaving the house but we didn't know she'd jump out of her bedroom window.
'And even with her fractured arms, she still managed to go to her boyfriend's place.'
The daughter spent two weeks in hospital for her fractured arms and also received psychological help.
The boy, however, was let off with a police warning in March.
But even after that police warning, the couple continued to have sex, which infuriated David even more.
He found out from his daughter's blog that the couple had sex again in May this year.
He said: 'I had already warned the guy and reported him to the police. He was let off with a warning but now, he's still having sex with my daughter.
'As a parent, I am really helpless. What can I do? I can't imprison my daughter.'
He said that while his daughter has shown signs of improvement and even wrote an apology letter to her mother, it is still too early to conclude that the problem is over.
David said that he has since made another police report in May. The police said that investigations are ongoing and it's inappropriate to comment at this time.
Former deputy public prosecutor Tan Hee Joek said that generally, the factors that could've been considered on whether to charge the accused would be the age of the accused and the relationship between the accused and the victim.
Mr Tan, now in private practice at Tan See Swan & Co, explained: 'The age of the accused is very important. It would tell you roughly if the victim was taken advantage of by someone older who preys on younger girls.
'But if both of them are teenagers and they do have a close boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, then that would be taken into consideration.'
In such cases, it's not unusual that the accused is let off with a stern warning first, he said.
Said Mr Tan: 'If it happens again, then the authorities might take more serious action against the offender. You can't keep on giving warnings. For the first time, the accused may claim that he didn't know it's serious.
'But after being warned, he can't rely on that as mitigation, especially when he has ignored the warning blatantly.'
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