A youth who molested his young niece three times last year told police investigators that he committed the offences as he was addicted to hentai – a genre of Japanese manga and anime characterised by sexually explicit images.
The Malaysian offender, who turned 20 in August this year, targeted the girl who was between six and seven years old at the time.
The court heard that her mother is his older sister.
The youth, who pleaded guilty to three counts of molestation on Friday (Dec 17), cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Teo said the offender moved to Singapore in March last year to live with his older sister and the victim.
He later molested the child on two occasions while she was sitting on his lap.
The youth, the victim and her mother were at a friend’s home on June 27 last year when the mother saw her daughter sitting on the offender’s lap, watching an anime show on his tablet.
The woman thought that they looked as though they were “hiding something” from her and confronted her brother who admitted to molesting the girl.
The mother alerted the police two days later and he told them that he molested his niece on two earlier occasions.
The DPP said: “He admitted to the police that he touched the victim because he was addicted to watching hentai.
“He knew it to be likely that by touching her (genitals), he would outrage her modesty, and felt guilty whenever he touched the victim, but he continued anyway because of his addiction.”
On Friday, the court called for reports to assess his suitability for probation and reformative training.
Offenders given the latter are detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.
He is expected to be sentenced next year.
For each count of molesting a child below 14, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined, or caned.