SINGAPORE: After quarrelling with his girlfriend over money and relationship issues, a man sent a video of them having sex to her cousin, wanting to force his lover into speaking to him.
The 31-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the victim's identity, was sentenced to 12 weeks' jail on Thursday (Dec 9).
He pleaded guilty to one charge of intentionally distributing an intimate recording, with a second charge taken into consideration.
The court heard that the pair began dating in 2018, but their relationship became unstable in September this year.
During their relationship, the man had used his phone to record himself having sex with the victim. The victim, who was naked, knew that the video was being recorded and consented to it.
However, she later told the offender to delete the recording. He said that he did, but he did not.
At around Sep 20 this year, the couple began quarrelling about money and other relationship issues. As a result of an argument, the victim blocked the offender on WhatsApp.
Six days later, the man sent the video of himself having sex with the victim to her cousin.
He knew that the distribution of the video would humiliate his girlfriend, and did so to compel her to speak to him, as she had blocked him on WhatsApp.
He also threatened to circulate the video and make it viral if the victim did not contact him.
The victim lodged a police report the next day and said an intimate video of her had been circulated without her consent.
Defence lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said the video was sent to the victim's cousin, and the likelihood of the relative forwarding or distributing it was extremely low.
He said his client had wanted to speak to the victim, whom he claimed had moved on with a new boyfriend. He was angry and very sad at the turn of events, said the lawyer.
District Judge Marvin Bay said there was "an egregious breach of trust where the victim had consented to the filming of the video, while she was in a vulnerable state of nakedness because she and the accused were romantically involved at that point in time".
Not only did the offender fail to delete the video as requested, but he also lied that he had done so and sent the clip to the victim's cousin after they fell out, said Judge Bay.
While he accepted that the offender was angry and that he had committed the crime "upon a misconceived intention to preserve his relationship", the judge said what the offender did was "perverse".
"It is deeply wrong and perverse to weaponise an intimate video taken in a moment of vulnerability, mobilising it as a means to keep a failing relationship alive," said Judge Bay.
For intentional distribution of an intimate recording, the man could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these penalties.