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Jail for man who filmed co-tenant in shower, threatened her with footage after she moved out

SINGAPORE — He first secretly took videos of his fellow tenant showering, then later used them to threaten her when he felt that she was avoiding him.

Jail for man who filmed co-tenant in shower, threatened her with footage after she moved out
A man set up a hidden camera in a bathroom and took five video clips, lasting between five and 22 minutes each, of a woman removing her clothes and taking a shower.
  • A 43-year-old man pleaded guilty to one charge each of voyeurism and harassment
  • He secretly filmed his co-tenant as she was showering after developing fantasies about her, the court heard
  • Later, after the woman moved out, the man threatened her to say he had a CD-ROM containing her nude image
  • The man was jailed for 21 weeks

SINGAPORE — He first secretly took videos of his fellow tenant showering, then later used them to threaten her when he felt that she was avoiding him.

For his actions, the 43-year-old Filipino was jailed for 21 weeks on Tuesday (May 24). He pleaded guilty to one charge each of voyeurism and harassment, with another similar charge taken into consideration for sentencing.

His 29-year-old victim, also from the Philippines, cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity. The offender's name was removed in court documents.

The court heard that in July 2020, the victim and her female friend moved into a residential unit where the man lived. The other occupants were the landlord and his wife, as well as another couple. The man first rented a room in the unit around 2011.

Soon after, he became attracted to the victim. He used to cook dinner for himself almost every day but after she moved in, he also cooked for her occasionally.

He would also ask her out for dinner on Fridays. She asked her friend to accompany them but the other woman was often busy, leaving the victim to have dinner with him alone on several occasions.

The victim’s friend returned to the Philippines in August 2020.

He then began buying fruits and food for her, rejecting her requests to pay him and saying that they were gifts. She felt uncomfortable about this and decided to just transfer money to him.

She regarded him as a friend but felt that they were not close, the court heard.

A NOTE SAYING ‘I LOVE YOU’

After some time, the man began experiencing “desires and fantasies” to look at her body. He then bought a spy camera, which was about the size of a USB drive, from e-commerce site Shopee.

He concealed it within a kitchen sponge and placed it on a pail just beside the bathroom door, so that it faced the shower area.

When the victim was done showering, he retrieved the sponge and viewed the recorded footage.

He ended up taking five video clips, lasting between five and 22 minutes each, of her removing her clothes and taking a shower. He uploaded the footage to his personal laptop but deleted them after a few days, and also transferred the files to his iPhone.

In November 2020, she stopped going out for dinner with him.

When she checked her bag on Nov 15 that year, she found a piece of paper with “I love you” written on it, which she found to be "very creepy", court documents stated.

She then decided to move out of the unit, suspecting that someone had entered her room without her permission when she was out to work.

She told her landlord about her plans under the pretext that she wanted to live somewhere closer to her workplace.

The next day, the man began sending her text messages on WhatsApp, saying that he did not want her to leave and trying to persuade her to stay. He also said that he would keep all the “remembrance” of their time together, which led her to block him on WhatsApp.

She then moved out of the unit the next day.

He tried to contact her but failed, so he contacted her friends on social media via Facebook Messenger and Instagram, accusing her of taking his clock and asking them to tell her to contact him.

He also sent her anonymous emails about “remembrance”, once asking if she wanted to see her “shower scandal” and threatening to reveal the voyeuristic videos he had taken, but she did not respond to the emails.

In a bid to scare her and get her to respond, he prepared a CD-ROM containing a one-second video clip and a photo with the text: “Sample only and got full video. Lucky u will be here. Email me… will show to you the other.”

He also added a photo of her from Facebook, and another of her nude.

He left the CD in an envelope addressed to her outside her workplace on Nov 26. When she viewed its contents, she grew alarmed and lodged a police report against him, suspecting that he was behind it.

He was arrested shortly after. He claimed that he longer had the spy camera after accidentally dropping it into the toilet bowl and flushing it away.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Chong told the court: “After the incident, the victim felt very scared and worried about her safety, and informed the police that this was the first time she felt this way while living in Singapore. She also felt really betrayed by the accused.”

Those convicted of voyeurism can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or punished with any combination of the three.

Related topics

court crime voyeurism shower harassment

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