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Singapore

Private tutor admits to taking upskirt videos of 142 women

SINGAPORE: A private tutor on Monday (Dec 10) admitted to taking "upskirt" videos of 142 women over about one-and-a-half years.

Low Boon En, 40, took the videos between Oct 2014 and May 2016, at places like Daiso stores, supermarkets, MRT platforms, void decks and along various escalators.

He pleaded guilty to 12 charges of intruding on the privacy of a woman with the intent to insult her modesty, with another 130 charges taken into consideration.

Low would turn on his video camera's recording function and place it at the top of a tennis racket bag he held, with the lens facing upwards.

The recorder came with a wireless viewer, which he held in the other hand. He would look at the viewer and adjust the camera's position accordingly.

His ploy was uncovered on Jun 26, 2016, when he went shopping at the Popular bookstore in Tampines Mall.

He noticed a 20-year-old student who was wearing a dress.

"The accused found the victim to be pretty and was curious about how sexy a girl can be as he did not have a girlfriend," Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi told the court.

He decided to take an upskirt video of her and arranged his video camera in his tennis racket bag before placing it under her skirt.

The victim, along with a friend she was with, did not notice what was happening.

However, a man in the store noticed Low walking back and forth at the paper section and saw him position his bag under the victim's skirt.

He saw a blinking light coming from a device in the bag, and saw another device in Low's left hand.

When the man approached Low at another section to ask if he had done anything, Low denied any wrongdoing and began fidgeting.

He took the SD card from his video recorder and placed it in his pocket when the man said he would call the police.

However, Low threw away the SD card before the police arrived and it was not recovered.

A raid of his bedroom uncovered 252 videos in an external hard disk drive of 142 different women.

The prosecution asked for nine months' jail, pointing to the "sheer number" of offences and degree of planning.

Ms Shi added that Low had tried to dispose of evidence and she also disputed his defence of schizophrenia.

She said even if voices in Low's head had said that he was gay or "not man enough", it would not result directly in his actions.

The judge adjourned the case for sentencing to January.

Source: CNA/ll(hm)

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