SINGAPORE – A man who used a pinhole camera to record his sister-in-law for private business claims he did so to relieve stress.
The 31-year-old managed to catch the pair showering together several times that he recorded in the home toilet.
The man, an assistant manager, also targeted fellow female colleagues he found attractive, and was finally arrested when someone saw his phone sprawled in her cubicle.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of insulting a woman’s modesty on Monday (March 14), with six other counts for consideration when sentencing. These include encroachment on the women’s restroom, other accusations of insulting women’s modesty, and the uploading of several videos to a forum.
The man cannot be named to protect the identities of his victims.
District Judge Shivuddin Sarwan ordered the man to attend a psychiatric evaluation at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) so that he could be examined to determine the appropriateness of mandatory treatment.
This was at the expense of the man’s initial IMH report. He was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with a depressed mood, which was said to contribute to his crimes.
Purchased a pen with a pinhole camera
He first started taking illegal videos at the end of 2017, then recorded skirt-up videos of his sexual pleasure whenever he went on breaks or on his commute.
He bought a pinhole camera hidden in a pen and used it with his sister-in-law, who are between 30 and 33 years old. While visiting his wife’s sisters in their apartment, he put the pen in a basket containing brushes and scrubbed into the kitchen toilet for the sisters’ record. He would retrieve the device before leaving the apartment.
He scored them at least three times in 2018, the last time he caught the two sisters showering together. A few days after the accident, the device stopped working and the man smashed it with a hammer before disposing of it.
Follow colleagues to the toilet
The man also targeted two female colleagues, aged 24 and 30, and another 26-year-old woman who was attending an induction program with him.
He followed the young woman into the toilet and into the cabin next to her. Then he stretched his mobile phone across the gap under the partition to photograph it. When he realized the woman knew what he was doing, he stopped recording and decided to wait for her to leave.
Meanwhile, the woman managed to snap a picture of the man’s phone and waited outside for the suspect to come out of the toilet. I eventually left and the guy did that too.
Then the victim entered the conference room and told her assistant general manager that there was Tom peeping in the toilet. The latter reviewed CCTV footage, which captured the man entering and exiting the toilet, and filed a police report.
The man, assuming the woman would report the matter, quickly deleted the videos he had recorded and all other obscene material stored on his phone. When confronted by the police, he initially lied that he had stomach problems and needed to use the female toilet urgently. Eventually he confessed to the crimes.
Investigations later revealed that he also photographed a 30-year-old female co-worker and a 26-year-old woman in the toilet in November 2019.
Record multiple upskirt videos
The man also recorded at least 16 videos in the skirt between November 2018 and October 2019 at locations across Singapore, including Sheng Siong’s bakery and shop and on public transportation.
He pretended to tie his shoelaces while filming under women’s skirts. Sometimes, he also pretended to drop his wallet to do so. These videos were found on his devices that were seized by the police.
In early 2019, the man uploaded three of these videos to an adult forum.
The man was evaluated at IMH, where he admitted that he was actually arrested by one of his victims in September 2018 after trying to take a video of her at the top of an escalator at Tiong Bahru Plaza. Then he “begged (him) to get out of the situation” and delete all the obscene videos.
However, the accident did not stop him from future business. Soon after his marriage in October 2018, he went back to illegally registering women as “an maladaptive and dysfunctional coping mechanism,” IMH reports.
Only a month into his marriage, he began targeting his wife’s two sisters. He also started downloading upskirt videos in March 2019.
Despite the man’s turmoil, the man admitted that he was aware of both the “nature and illegality of his actions,” which were not driven by an irresistible desire to control himself, but rather aimed at “calming his sense of sexual desire.”
The man’s case will be returned to court on April 12. If he is found to be fit for a mandatory treatment order, he may receive psychiatric treatment in lieu of imprisonment.
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