Man gets four months for threatening to sell ex-girlfriend's sex videos for money

Benjamin Yeo Bing Yuan was jailed for four months. He had threatened to sell the videos if his former girlfriend did not pay him $4,000.
Benjamin Yeo Bing Yuan was jailed for four months. He had threatened to sell the videos if his former girlfriend did not pay him $4,000.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - He was in financial difficulties when he sought permission from his ex-girlfriend to sell her sex videos for money.

Benjamin Yeo Bing Yuan, 25, later asked the 23-year-old for $4,000 in exchange for deleting the videos. She agreed and asked for time to raise the money.

He messaged her multiple times from May 4 to June 14, 2016, asking if she was able to transfer the money that day, demanding an update from her, asking her to set a deadline to transfer him the money, and telling her not to "test" him.

On Thursday (Feb 2), the IT administrator was sentenced to four months' jail after admitting to threatening her with injury to her reputation.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yong told the court that while the pair were in a relationship from 2014 to 2015, the victim sent Yeo a number of videos showing herself engaged in sexual acts.

Yeo had also recorded a number of videos of himself and the victim engaged in sex. They broke up in the middle of 2015 and lost contact.

In early 2016, he lost a few thousand dollars through soccer betting. He subsequently took a bank loan in an attempt to recover his losses but ended up losing money again.

He then formulated a plan of using the sexually explicit videos in his possession to scare the victim into giving him money, said DPP Chong.

He managed to find her profile on Facebook and, after messaging her, got her mobile.

On May 4, he contacted her via WhatsApp Messenger and asked if he could sell the sex videos. He told her of his financial difficulties and stated that he could fetch a "good price" with the videos. She struck a deal with him to have the videos deleted.

On June 14, he messaged her with an ultimatum to transfer $1,000 to his POSB savings account by 10pm.

At about 5pm, he sent her a clip from one of the videos and sent a follow-up message stating: "If you can't help me, other guys will definitely help me."

The victim pleaded with him not to sell the video, and also asked to meet him to hand him the money in person, so that she could witness him deleting the videos. He ignored her pleas, insisted that the money be transferred to his bank account, and continued to threaten her, saying that "(She) should know how viral this can be. Millions of people will get to see it."

The victim made a police report that evening. Police arrested Yeo at his Pasir Ris home the next morning and later recovered 18 videos of the victim from his portable hard disk drive.

Yeo's lawyer Edmond Pereira said his client did not disseminate the videos which were in his hard disk drive and mobile phone. He asked the court to give Yeo one chance, saying he is truly remorseful that he has put his family through much pain, hardship and shame.

District Judge Low Wee Ping agreed with the prosecution that a deterrent sentence was needed to disparage more young people from indulging in this subculture and going on to commit offences like those in the case.

He allowed Yeo to start his sentence on Feb 15. Yeo could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for criminal intimidation.