A Singapore court has sentenced a Filipina domestic worker to prison after she was found guilty to two counts of child abuse.
Gernalyn Sarasa Mutas, 30, was handed a 30 months jail term on January 3 after pleading guilty to the charges. The physical abuse to her employer’s daughters, aged five and two, took place in mid-November 2015 after the helper was peeved at the children for bed-wetting on separate occasions. The Filipino domestic worker used a rubber band to hit their private parts.
Another charge of forcefully grabbing the neck of her employer’s 10-year-old daughter with her hand was taken into consideration in sentencing, according to a Straits Times report.
Mutas has been working with the family for about three years when the abuse was uncovered.
The children’s parents were on a holiday on November 17, 2016 with the younger victim when the mother noticed injuries on the girl’s private area as she was changing diapers. The girl then said that the maid had caused the injuries.
The father later asked his five-year-old daughter if she had been similarly ill-treated as the girl had been complaining that it hurt when she urinated. He examined her and found that she had bruises on her private area as well.
Upon medical examination, two abrasions each were found on the girls.
An investigation showed that the incident took place sometime in November 2015, when Mutas was sleeping in the same bedroom with a 28-year-old Filipino domestic helper, who was to replace her, and the children.
The five-year-old woke her up and said that she had urinated on her bed. Mutas got angry with the victim and committed the offence, hurting the girl.
On another occasion, Mutas told the two-year-old to go to the toilet. But she did not make it in time and urinated on her underwear.
After washing her up, Mutas warned the girl not to wet her pants again as she took a rubber band and shot it at the the victim’s vulva area and pinched her on the area before putting a diaper and underwear on the girl, causing the girl to cry.
Dora Tay, a deputy public prosecutor, sought the court to sentence Mutas to a total of three years to send a strong signal to deter caregivers from abusing the trust on them to look after the young and vulnerable.