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Jail for man who put spy camera in gym toilet to film other men, destroyed it after staff found it

SINGAPORE — A 27-year-old man was jailed for six months on Thursday (Oct 14) for illicitly filming other men in the toilet of an Anytime Fitness gym outlet in the Bukit Batok area.

Jail for man who put spy camera in gym toilet to film other men, destroyed it after staff found it

Sean Lee Yang outside the State Courts on Oct 14, 2021.

  • Sean Lee Yang bought a spy camera that looked like a clothing hook
  • He placed it under the hand dryer in the men’s toilet of an Anytime Fitness gym outlet
  • When a cleaner found it, Lee filched it from a gym office drawer and discarded it down his block’s rubbish chute
  • He remains out on bail as he intends to appeal against the jail sentence

 

SINGAPORE — A 27-year-old man was jailed for six months on Thursday (Oct 14) for illicitly filming other men in the toilet of an Anytime Fitness gym outlet in the Bukit Batok area.

When a cleaner found a spy camera disguised as a clothing hook that Sean Lee Yang had installed under a hand dryer, he handed it to a staff member, who kept it in an office drawer.

Lee managed to retrieve his device and discarded it and its memory card in the rubbish chute of the public housing block on Segar Road in Bukit Panjang where he lived. The spycam and incriminating videos were not found or recovered.

Lee pleaded guilty on Thursday to one charge each of voyeurism and destroying an electronic record to prevent it from being used as evidence.

He had just graduated from the National University of Singapore with an economics degree and was unemployed at the time of his offences last year. He now works as a client accounts manager in a bank.

He told the court through his lawyer that he intends to appeal against the jail term, having sought probation or a mandatory treatment order. He remains out on bail pending the appeal.

WHAT HAPPENED

The court heard that around August last year, Lee bought the spycam from e-marketplace Lazada to covertly film men urinating because he had a fetish for such videos.

Soon after, he went to the Anytime Fitness gym outlet at HillV2 mall near the Bukit Batok district about two to three times a week. While changing into his fitness attire, he planted the device under the hand dryer, facing the toilet bowl.

He then retrieved it about an hour later after he was done with his gym session. At home, he watched the videos on his laptop, discarding those that did not capture men urinating.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Heershan Kaur told the court that Lee viewed the videos for his “own pleasure” over the next one to two weeks.

On the evening of Aug 10, Lee returned to the gym and planted the spycam below the hand dryer using double-sided tape.

After he had left the toilet, a cleaner, Mr Muhammad Rasydan Mustafar Amir, went to clean the toilet and discovered a dark-coloured hook lodged under the hand dryer.

Mr Rasydan grew suspicious and removed it, discovering a memory card slot and a USB port in the hook.

Upon closer inspection, he noticed that there was a camera in the top hole of the hook, facing the toilet bowl. He then gave the device to a staff member.

While Lee was exercising, he noticed a gym employee holding onto the spycam and discussing it with other staff members. He then observed the employee leaving the device in an office drawer and shutting the office door.

Lee decided to wait for the coast to be clear, keeping watch from about 10.30pm to 2.30am.

When the employee took a toilet break and the office was empty, Lee took the spycam from the drawer and fled. He went home and threw away the device and memory card.

The next day, an area manager of Anytime Fitness discovered it was missing and went through closed-circuit television footage at the gym. Lee was caught on video taking the device and going in and out of the gym, men’s toilet and office.

'ALLEGEDLY SEXUALLY ABUSED IN THAILAND'

DPP Kaur sought seven to nine months’ jail for Lee, arguing that these offences were extremely difficult to detect and that he had abused his position as a member of Anytime Fitness. He also filmed the many victims in a highly private environment and at a widely used facility.

Although he pleaded guilty, the prosecutor noted that he had essentially been caught red-handed.

She also objected to his lawyer Johan Ismail’s submissions for the court to assess if Lee is suitable for probation or a mandatory treatment order. The latter is a community sentencing option offered to offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence.

Lee was diagnosed with voyeurism, but DPP Kaur noted that a psychiatrist found it was not causally linked to his offences and it was his sexual urges that led to him breaking the law.

He was also diagnosed with dysthymia, a form of persistent depressive disorder, with panic and post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Mr Ismail told the court in mitigation that Lee, who was mostly educated in Thailand, had allegedly been sexually abused there for months by his primary school teacher.

Lee is now seeking treatment at the Institute of Mental Health. The medication he is taking has “helped him tremendously” not to do the same thing again, the defence counsel added.

While Mr Ismail argued that Lee took the spycam from the office drawer out of fear, DPP Kaur said it was “clearly premeditated” and a highly egregious act.

The prosecutor also objected to Mr Ismail’s argument that those who film men are less culpable than those who film women.

In sentencing Lee, District Judge Eddy Tham said that Lee’s past experience did not excuse his behaviour, and ruled that probation or a mandatory treatment order were clearly inappropriate.

For voyeurism, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or given any combination of the three.

He could also have been jailed for up to two years or fined, or both, for destroying evidence.

Related topics

crime court jail Spy camera gym voyeurism

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