A district court judge sentenced a 63-year-old man to 18 months in jail on Wednesday after the man confessed in March to molesting his then-seven-year-old niece more than 26 years ago.
The man, a Chinese barbecue cook by profession, was convicted on one count of indecent assault.
The court heard earlier about an incident that took place one early morning back in 1989, when the victim, who is now 33 and holds a doctoral degree in psychology, stayed overnight at her uncle’s home.
According to prosecutors, the uncle sneaked into her niece’s bed while she was sleeping and groped her genitals.
The seven-year-old was too scared to resist before the man eventually put her underwear back on.
The young girl was troubled by the experience but it was not until she reached 12 years in age that she understood that she had been molested.
Last year, while attending a forum on sexual attacks, the victim became aware that she could press charges against his uncle even after more than 25 years.
She confronted the elderly man and recorded the conversation. The recording, which showed the uncle apparently admitting to his guilt, was then submitted to the police.
While pleading guilty to the offense, the defendant, who has four daughters, told the court that he did so out of sexual impulse because his wife was pregnant then, Metro Hong Kong reported.
He asked for leniency, saying that he deeply regrets his action in the past and that he hopes to reassure his niece through the confession and apology.
The judge said the defendant deserves jail time as he has violated a young girl’s trust and caused her mental anguish all these years.
The victim, meanwhile, was told that forgiveness could perhaps help her get closure on the incident.
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