Man jailed 7 weeks for taking photos of women showering

Ryan You Jun Chao pleaded guilty on Feb 28 to two counts of insulting a woman's modesty. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ryan You Jun Chao pleaded guilty on Feb 28 to two counts of insulting a woman's modesty. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A former university student was sentenced on Monday to seven weeks in jail for snapping pictures of women while they were showering on campus.

Ryan You Jun Chao, now 26, who was a student at the National University of Singapore (NUS) at the time of the offences, has since graduated.

On Feb 28, the Singaporean pleaded guilty to two counts of insulting a woman's modesty.

Two criminal trespass charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

You was at NUS on Feb 14 last year when he felt "tempted" to check if a woman was in a shower.

He found an occupied cubicle, took out his mobile phone and held it over a partition to snap pictures of a 23-year-old woman.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Pavithra Ramkumar had earlier told District Judge Adam Nakhoda: "While the accused was taking the photographs, the victim saw a shadow outside the cubicle. The victim then looked up and spotted the accused's mobile phone above the cubicle wall."

The victim shouted and pushed the mobile phone away. You then panicked and fled to a male toilet, the court heard.

Despite this close shave, he re-offended on March 5 last year and snapped photographs of another 23-year-old woman as she was in a shower cubicle.

He then left the female toilet and went to a nearby pantry to view the pictures.

The court heard that this second victim had also spotted part of You's hair above the door of the cubicle she was in.

She wrapped herself in a towel and waited until other people entered the common female toilet before she felt safe enough to continue showering.

 
 
 

The victim finished her shower and spotted You in the pantry after she left the toilet. Both victims alerted the police in early March last year.

On Monday, the court heard that You intended to appeal against the sentence, and his bail was set at $10,000.

In an earlier statement, NUS said that its board of discipline had conducted an inquiry into You's offences in April last year.

"After careful consideration, the (board) imposed disciplinary sanctions on Mr You, including suspension, deferred graduation, mandatory counselling and rehabilitation sessions. These disciplinary sanctions are part of Mr You's formal educational record at the university."

The university said it takes a strong stand against any form of sexual misconduct and has enhanced the disciplinary framework for sexual misconduct offences, as well as safety and security measures.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2020, with the headline 'Man jailed 7 weeks for taking photos of women showering'. Print Edition | Subscribe