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Former ITE lecturer jailed for taking upskirt videos of 335 women with modified laptop bag

Former ITE lecturer jailed for taking upskirt videos of 335 women with modified laptop bag

File photo of a man carrying a laptop bag. (Photo: Pexels/Lukas)

SINGAPORE: A former senior lecturer at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) was jailed for about eight months on Monday (Dec 7) for taking upskirt videos of hundreds of women with a modified laptop bag.

Chia Teck Huat, 41, placed mini cameras inside his bag and went around shopping malls in search of middle-aged female office workers in short skirts, court documents said.

He pleaded guilty in October to three counts of insulting a woman's modesty, with a fourth charge taken into consideration.

Chia, who worked as a part-time deliveryman after losing his job with ITE, walked around malls like Plaza Singapura, ION Orchard, Tampines Mall and Changi City Point to film women between July 2017 and October 2017.

He was nabbed when a man caught him taking upskirt videos at Plaza Singapura's Daiso outlet on Oct 23, 2017. A total of 335 unidentified women were filmed in 335 video clips recovered from his devices.

District Judge Adam Nakhoda noted the large number of victims as well as the planning and premeditation that Chia put into committing the crimes, such as labelling and organising the videos he had taken. 

While there was no inordinate delay between Chia's arrest and charging, as submitted by the defence, the prosecution conceded that there was a delay of two years and eight months.

A psychiatrist found that Chia was suffering from voyeuristic disorder and adjustment disorder but there was no diagnosis of an impulse control disorder.

The judge noted that Chia attended 34 counselling sessions and has not reoffended since his arrest.

The defence previously told the court that Chia had difficulties in his marriage and his mother was suffering from late-stage cancer, with Chia experiencing "tremendous stress and anxiety".

He began experimenting with taking upskirt videos, saying they helped relieve his stress, and his urges were "triggered when he saw girls in short skirts".

"The accused was actually relieved that he was caught by the police as he knew that his behaviour was being obsessive and compulsive and that he was unable to control himself," said Chia's lawyers, adding that their client was previously a well-respected ITE lecturer and committed family man.

ITE said in October that Chia was dismissed in March 2018 and that the institution would not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct among its staff members.

For each charge of insulting a woman's modesty, he could have been jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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