Engineer jailed 50 days for filming women showering in hostel

Kotozaki had checked into the hostel on June 1. Some time after midnight, he went to the shared common toilet.
Kotozaki had checked into the hostel on June 1. Some time after midnight, he went to the shared common toilet.PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A Japanese engineer on assignment in Singapore was jailed for 50 days on Friday for using his cellphone to take digital videos of women showering in a hostel.

Go Kotozaki, 37, admitted to two of six charges of insulting modesty at a hostel in South Bridge Road on May 29 and June 2.

The court heard that Kotozaki had checked into the hostel on June 1. Some time after midnight, he went to the shared common toilet.

He saw a 26-year-old woman - a tourist from China - enter the shower room which has a window ledge. He then went to the adjacent cubicle and put his mobile phone at the ledge pointing it towards the woman. He managed to take two video clips of her showering between 12.27 and 12.29am.

When the woman walked towards the window ledge to retrieve her toiletries, she noticed Kotozaki's mobile phone and shouted. He then left the scene.

During an earlier stay, on May 29, Kotozaki had similarly taken four video clips of an unknown woman showering at the same hostel.

Kotozaki's lawyer Adrian Wee said the father of one had experienced extreme loneliness while working here on a major project. He was stressed out, worked long hours, and could not meet initial project targets.

He lost 7kg as a result; had poor concentration and was lethargic. Mr Wee said his client was depressed, had no friends or social network to turn to for support. By May, he decided to check into a hostel to be in the company of other people. Nothing happened during his one-night stay at the hostel on May 22.

A week later, when he checked into the hostel again, he found that it was possible to film areas of the female shower.

"Acting completely out of character, he then filmed an individual in the shower with his mobile phone,'' he said.

Kotozaki, he said, is very remorseful and ashamed of the incident and has been placed on a course of antidepressants. He has sought treatment and had volunteered his services at the Assisi Home and Hospice for the past few months.

He could have been jailed for up to one year and or fined on each charge.