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Singapore

Jail and fine for man who planted spy pens in toilets to film his female friends

SINGAPORE: A man planted a spy pen with recording functions in toilets to film his female friends in the shower, but was discovered by a victim's boyfriend.

The 28-year-old offender, who cannot be named in order to protect the identities of the victims whom he knew, was given 11 weeks' jail and fined S$7,000 on Tuesday (Nov 10).

The court heard that the offender bought two spy pens with cameras for S$20 to S$30 each.

He entered the toilets before his victims and planted the devices near the sink or in a toothbrush holder, angling them to face the shower area before activating the camera.

He targeted his female friends and a female tenant who was staying in his home. After the victims finished showering, he would retrieve the pen and watch the videos.

In July 2017, a few of the offender's friends visited him at his home. One of them, a 26-year-old woman who was his friend for seven years, took a shower in his toilet.

The man planted a spy pen near the sink and captured an 8min-long video of the victim showering. He watched the video and labelled it with the victim's name.

On Sep 2, 2017, the offender went to a friend's condominium to use the pool with other friends. They finished swimming at about 6pm and some of the men in the group wanted to use the toilets near the pool to shower.

The offender suggested that the women go to their friend's unit to shower instead. As the unit had two toilets, they agreed for the men to use the back toilet while the ladies used the one in front.

They headed to the unit, with the offender placing a spy pen in a toothbrush holder in the toilet that would be used by the women.

As he left, he was spotted by one of his male friends, who was the boyfriend of a victim.

VICTIM'S BOYFRIEND SUSPECTED HIM

The victim's boyfriend asked the offender why he had gone to the front toilet, but the offender did not reply.

The boyfriend felt uneasy as he remembered that the offender had been holding a black bag when he left the toilet and decided to check the toilet.

He did not find anything suspicious initially but later saw a pen in the toothbrush holder. He tried to use it but realised that he could not write with it.

He dismantled it and realised that it was a spy pen with a camera and an SD card.

He kept the pen and told his girlfriend about it the next morning. Together, they reviewed the SD card and saw videos of the front toilet, the court heard.

Forensic extraction uncovered a 9min-long video of the victim undressing and showering.

The victim's boyfriend informed the other victims and they confronted the offender together on Sep 11, 2017. He denied responsibility and tried to cover up what happened by lying, but the victims and the boyfriend found more devices in the offender's home and lodged a police report.

The offender said in his police statement that he had taken the videos "for fun" even though he knew what he did was wrong.

His phone and hard disk were seized by the police and 14 obscene video files were found inside.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of insulting a woman's modesty and one count of possessing obscene films, with three other charges taken into consideration.

The judge agreed with the prosecutor that there were serious aggravating factors in this case, including a high degree of planning and premeditation. There was also an abuse of trust as the victims had gathered as friends when the offences took place.

For insulting a woman's modesty, he could have been jailed for up to a year, fined, or both. For possessing an obscene film, he could have been jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$20,000, or both.

Source: CNA/ll

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