Jail for man who took upskirt video of teen while out on bail over similar offence

Nicholas Tan Siew Chye had pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism on Dec 16 last year. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - A Nanyang Technological University (NTU) student, caught taking a woman's upskirt video on campus, was out on bail over the incident when he committed a similar offence last year.

Nicholas Tan Siew Chye, 26, was on Friday (June 24) sentenced to seven weeks' jail.

He had pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism on Dec 16 last year.

In a statement to The Straits Times on Saturday, NTU said that Tan is still one of its students and his case is being reviewed by its board of discipline.

He had been placed on suspension and barred from coming to campus pending the outcome of the case.

The NTU spokesman also said: "The university takes all forms of misconduct very seriously. Any member of our community found guilty of misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action. This may include suspension or expulsion from the university, depending on the severity of the student’s offences, and other mitigating or aggravating factors...The university has extended support to the individuals involved since it was made aware of the incident in October 2020."

In proceedings last December, the court heard that he had been diagnosed with voyeuristic disorder.

District Judge Tan Jen Tse then called for a report to assess the offender's suitability for a mandatory treatment order (MTO).

Those given an MTO will undergo treatment for their mental conditions in lieu of jail time.

On Friday, Judge Tan gave him a jail sentence after noting that his mental condition did not cause or contribute to the offences.

The judge also said that serious offences were committed against young women in this case.

The court heard that Tan had gone to his girlfriend's hall of residence on campus to visit her on Oct 19, 2020, when he spotted his first victim, 20.

The female victim was walking back to her room at the time.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Seah Ee Wei said that Tan then followed the woman as she walked to a lift lobby.

Tan took out his mobile phone while the victim waited for a lift.

DPP Seah had said: "He switched his phone camera on to video mode and squatted down, placing his phone under the victim's dress with the camera aimed up her dress and recording an upskirt video."

The victim felt him moving closer towards her. She turned and saw him immediately move back from his squatting position. The shocked woman then left the lobby, worried about her safety.

She later reported the matter to campus security. Tan's identity was established through closed-circuit television footage.

He was arrested on Oct 20, 2020, and released on bail the next day.

Tan was on his way home on Feb 25 last year when he spotted a 17-year-old girl dressed in her school uniform.

He felt an urge to take an upskirt video of the teenager and followed her to a lift lobby at her block of flats.

They took the same lift and as the girl was about to exit, he squatted down and stretched out his arm with his phone camera towards her thigh area.

The victim, who had already stepped out of the lift, felt him touch her thigh. She turned back and yelled.

She lodged a police report later that day and Tan was arrested again on March 1 last year.

On Friday, the court heard that he intends to appeal against the sentence and was offered bail of $20,000.

For each count of voyeurism, an offender can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of such punishments.

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