A 31-year-old man was handed a deterrent sentence of seven years' jail and nine strokes of the cane for raping his then eight-year-old cousin 14 years ago.
The victim, now 22, had kept quiet about the rape for more than a decade before going to the police in 2011.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam said a deterrent sentence was needed. "The accused had abused his position of trust in taking advantage of a very young victim. The offences were pre-meditated and the accused had exhibited a pattern of offending as seen in the additional charges which were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing,'' he said.
The accused, who was unrepresented, had admitted to raping the girl at a staircase landing of an HDB block in 1999. He was then 17 and unemployed. He raped her on two other occasions the same year and these charges were considered during sentencing.
The court was told that the victim, whose parents were then in the midst of divorce proceedings, went to live with the accused, her aunt and uncle in 1998. She was then seven, and continued living there until 2001.
In 1999, the accused was waiting to be called up for national service when he became addicted to pornographic VCDs.
On one occasion, he and the girl went to buy food from a nearby store in mid-1999.
They were in a lift on their way home when the accused recalled sex scenes he had seen and wanted to try having sex.
He took her to the staircase landing but dropped the idea after a passer-by walking past. About a week later, he again took her to the staircase landing, where he raped her. He warned her not to tell anyone.
The accused could have been jailed up to 20 years, fined or caned.