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Singapore

Man jailed for repeatedly filming his maid showering

Man jailed for repeatedly filming his maid showering

File photo of a shower. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons / DO'NEIL)

SINGAPORE: A man who lived with his wife and a domestic helper began filming the Myanmar national in the shower after feeling a "sudden urge to see her naked body".

After the victim saw a phone under the shower door, she left her phone on video-recording mode in the kitchen to see who was the culprit, and realised it was her employer.

The 67-year-old man, who cannot be named as it might identify the victim, was given four months' jail on Wednesday (Jul 14). 

He pleaded guilty to one count each of voyeurism and insulting a woman's modesty. Another two charges were considered in sentencing.

The court heard that the victim, who is now 32, began working for the couple in March 2016. 

One evening in August 2019, the victim approached the accused and told him she was going to take a shower.

The man acknowledged this and felt "a sudden urge to see (her) naked body", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Chong.

He waited for the maid to enter the kitchen bathroom before activating the video-recording mode of his phone and positioning the device in the gap under the door.

He could see her naked body from his phone screen, and repositioned his phone so it would capture her body. He filmed her for less than a minute as he was afraid of being recorded, and went back to the living room to watch the video before deleting it.

He filmed her again in this manner several more times in August, September and November that year as he felt an urge to see her in the nude.

At about noon on Dec 21, 2019, the victim went to the kitchen bathroom to shower when she noticed a phone sliding under the door with its camera lens facing her.

She did not try to find out who was holding the phone, or tell her employers, as she was too afraid, said Mr Ng.

After 9pm on Jan 12 last year, the victim placed her phone in video-recording mode and put it in the kitchen, facing the bathroom.

She went to take a shower, and the accused showed up soon after with his phone. He filmed the maid showering for more than three minutes before leaving the kitchen.

The victim later checked her phone and saw the accused videoing her in the shower. She left the house later that night without telling her bosses and sought help at the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics shelter.

They advised her to lodge a police report, and she did so, with the police arresting the offender on the same day.

The prosecutor pointed out the fact that it was not a one-off incident, and that the videos could have been disseminated. Furthermore, the accused was the victim's employer.

AN UNFORTUNATE LAPSE IN JUDGMENT: LAWYER

The man's lawyer asked for a lower jail term, saying her client's actions were caused by an unfortunate lapse in his judgment. She added that he suffers from medical conditions including coronary artery disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.

She said he is "most remorseful and wishes to convey his apologies to the victim".

The judge said the victim was entitled to feel safe in the home she worked at, but acknowledged the accused's plea of guilt. 

However, she said he could still be committing the offences had the victim not caught him herself and reported it to the police.

For insulting a woman's modesty, he could have been jailed up to a year and fined. This sentence could have been increased by one-and-a-half times as the victim was a maid.

For voyeurism, he could have been jailed up to two years and fined. This sentence could have been doubled as the victim was a domestic worker.

Source: CNA/ll(rw)

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