Former HDB director admits to taking obscene videos, photos of men
Norman Leo Chee Wei Kiong's offences were discovered when he tried to surreptitiously film a man he found attractive in a supermarket.
SINGAPORE: A man on Tuesday (Aug 30) admitted to taking obscene videos and photos of men in public places such as SAFRA locker rooms.
Norman Leo Chee Wei Kiong, 61, was a director of housing finance at the Housing and Development Board in 2017, TODAY previously reported.
His lawyer informed the court that he has since resigned.
Chee pleaded guilty to four charges under the Films Act and two charges of committing a public nuisance.
Eight more charges, including one for voyeurism, will be considered when he returns for sentencing.
On Oct 28, 2020, Chee's offences were discovered after he tried to surreptitiously film a man he found attractive in a supermarket.
The man noticed this and confronted Chee, who denied filming him.
In the ensuing commotion, a supermarket employee called the police.
While waiting for the police to arrive, both men were taken to wait in the security office, and Chee agreed to delete the video of the man.
The man inspected Chee's photo gallery to ensure this was done, and noticed that it contained obscene videos featuring naked men.
He alerted police to this when they arrived. Police discovered the obscene images and seized Chee's phone for forensic examination.
During investigations, Chee admitted that he had a habit of filming and photographing men he considered attractive in public places such as gyms and communal changing rooms.
His offences date back more than a decade. On Apr 26, 2012, Chee took two photos of a man clad only his underwear in a male locker room at an unknown SAFRA clubhouse.
At a similar location on Jan 12, 2013, Chee used his phone to take five photos of a man with his private parts exposed.
On Dec 31, 2018, Chee recorded a 25-second video of a fully naked man, capturing his face and private parts, at the male locker room of SAFRA Mount Faber.
Chee also recorded obscene videos of a man, known as "Billy", in his own apartment.
He filmed "Billy" wiping himself with a towel on Dec 22, 2017 and putting on his underwear on Sep 25, 2019. Both videos were more than a minute long.
These videos were for Chee's personal gratification, according to court documents.
Through forensic examination, 146 more obscene videos showing men engaged in sexual acts were found on Chee's phone.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng sought two to three weeks' jail and a fine of S$1,600 to S$2,000.
He highlighted that Chee had taken videos and photos of unsuspecting men, and that the videos of "Billy" did not indicate that he knew he was being recorded.
There was no evidence to suggest Chee had circulated the videos, but there was a "latent risk" of this as they were in a digital format on an Internet-connected device, added Mr Ng.
Defence counsel Shashi Nathan sought no more than a week's jail, calling his client a "very honourable man".
He highlighted that Chee resigned voluntarily even before his conviction, and that this was a "painful decision" after building his career for more than 35 years.
Mr Nathan said this "fall from grace" had been enlightening for Chee, who had kept parts of his life hidden from people around him and was "living under a shadow" before the offences came to light.
He also argued that Chee was the primary caregiver for his elderly mother, who suffers from ovarian cancer.
The prosecutor countered that Chee's offences were committed in his personal capacity unrelated to his work, and that his resignation was a personal decision and not a mitigating factor.
District Judge Kessler Soh said he needed time to consider the appropriate sentence, and adjourned the hearing to Sep 9.