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17-year-old admits posting screenshots from upskirt videos his schoolmates took of their teacher

SINGAPORE — Angry with his teacher for not showing as much care to him in Secondary 3 compared to when he was in Sec 1, a teenager uploaded multiple screenshots from upskirt videos his schoolmates had filmed of her.

SINGAPORE — Angry with his teacher for not showing as much care to him in Secondary 3 compared to when he was in Sec 1, a teenager uploaded multiple screenshots from upskirt videos his schoolmates had filmed of her.

The screenshots and other photos, which clearly showed her face and workplace, ended up circulating on pornographic websites.

On Friday (Dec 17), the boy, now 17, pleaded guilty in a district court to a single charge of distributing or transmitting obscene material. Two other similar charges will be taken into consideration for sentencing on Feb 8 next year.

The teen cannot be identified because he committed the crimes when he was not yet 18. The Children and Young Persons Act bans the publication of the identities of such young offenders.

His secondary school also cannot be named.

District Judge Kessler Soh called for a report to assess if he is suitable for probation, which is usually offered to first-time offenders between 16 and 21 years old. 

This does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences.

The court heard that around April or May 2019, the teen learned that two upskirt videos had been recorded of his teacher, whose age was redacted from court documents.

He managed to procure one screenshot of each video from his schoolmates and then edited them, creating several variations before uploading the images on blogging website Tumblr.

He posted the screenshots alongside other photos that clearly showed her face, other family members and place of work, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Cheng You Duen told the court.

In his caption, he also wrote that these were upskirt photos of a secondary school teacher and asked others to reblog, like and share them.

The victim lodged a police report on May 21, 2019.

DPP Cheng, who did not object to the probation suitability report, cited a number of aggravating factors, such as the teen arguably acting out of malice. The photos also appeared to have been widely circulated.

Nevertheless, the prosecutor noted that he was only 15 years old at the time of his offences.

The teen’s lawyer — Mr B Rajendraprasad from Regent Law — told the court in mitigation that his client was extremely remorseful and admits that he should not have committed the acts.

He comes from a close-knit family, has the support of his mother and siblings, and has been attending counselling sessions since 2019 to manage his emotions, he said.

The defence counsel added that the accused understood the seriousness of his offences and "has a strong propensity to reform".

When District Judge Soh asked the teen if he had anything to say, he told the court that he regretted his actions and has “really been through a lot since that time”, including being caned and suspended from school.

“I really hope you give me a chance to turn over a new leaf because I’m really doing well now, especially in school,” the teen added.

Those convicted of distributing or transmitting obscene material can be jailed for up to three months or fined, or punished with both.

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