NUS voyeur filmed children in shopping mall toilet, had charges withdrawn by police

NUS voyeur filmed children in shopping mall toilet, had charges withdrawn by police

toilet voyeur phone cam spycam photo illustration
Photo illustration of a voyeur filming in a women's toilet. 

SINGAPORE: A National University of Singapore (NUS) student who filmed children in a toilet in 2015 had charges against him withdrawn.

In a clarification on Tuesday (Apr 30), the Singapore Police Force said the man was initially charged but those charges were withdrawn under direction from the Attorney-General’s Chambers. 

In an earlier story, CNA had reported a document detailing offences heard by the university's disciplinary board, including the case of a student being given a 24-month conditional warning after he had "filmed children in the adjacent cubicle on multiple occasions". 

READ: Commentary: All this anger over voyeurism but what we need is respect

According to the documents, the incidents had taken place in the academic year of 2015/16, but it was not specifically stated where the offences took place. 

Police stated on Tuesday that the offences took place in a shopping mall toilet and not on NUS premises. 

"The accused was charged in court for four counts of Insulting the Modesty of a Woman and one count of Criminal Trespass," the police said.

"The Attorney-General’s Chambers eventually directed the police to withdraw the charges. The accused was receiving treatment from IMH (the Institute of Mental Health)."

The Penal Code denotes a woman as a female of any age.

"His doctors gave a report on his condition. It was assessed, among other factors, that he needed mental treatment, and that it is best for him to continue with his treatment, and sending him to jail would not be helpful," police added.

"The fact that the accused did not have any prior offending history was also considered."

READ: The Big Read: Singapore’s voyeurism problem – what’s wrong with men, or the world?

READ: 22-year-old NTU student under investigation over Peeping Tom incident

The man was given a 24-month conditional warning, and he completed the two years without further offending, the police confirmed. They added that he has remained crime-free since.

CAUGHT RED-HANDED

The offences took place over two consecutive days in 2015 and the man was caught in the act and arrested at the scene on the second day, police said. 

Documents detailing offences dealt with by NUS' disciplinary board showed the man was not allowed to graduate until the end of Semester 2 in the following academic year of 2016/17.

He was suspended for two semesters, ordered to undergo mandatory counselling and psychological assessment, fined S$1,000 and issued an official reprimand.

READ: 'We fell short': NUS president apologises to alumni over handling of sexual misconduct case

Several of the cases revealed in the documents - first published on Facebook after being obtained via a students’ portal - involved students taking photos and videos of male and female students in the shower and upskirt videos. In other incidents, offenders touched the thighs or buttocks of female students.

UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

NUS' handling of sexual misconduct cases has been under the spotlight, after undergraduate Monica Baey took to Instagram to call for tougher action against a student who had filmed her taking a shower. 

Her perpetrator, a 23-year-old man, had been given a 12-month conditional warning by the police. 

After a disciplinary process by NUS, her perpetrator was suspended from the university for one semester and banned from entering all on-campus housing premises. He was also ordered to go for mandatory counselling sessions, perform 30 hours of community service and write a letter of apology.

But Ms Baey called for "real action" against him, explaining she was "seriously distressed" and that her mental health had suffered badly.

Shortly after the incident came to light, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said the penalties meted out by NUS were “manifestly inadequate”

NUS president Tan Eng Chye last week apologised to the university's alumni for the way the case was handled, saying the school was sorry that Ms Baey had to surface her concerns on social media for the university to take notice. He also said NUS "fell short" in providing her with support from the start. 

The university has also convened a committee to review its current disciplinary and support frameworks.

Source: CNA/nh(mi)

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