Man jailed for circulating teen's nude photos online

About a month after an 18-year-old student got to know a technician online, they started a relationship and exchanged nude photographs.

Once, Ramesh Segaran, 31, went to the teen's home and had consensual sex with her when her parents were not around.

They first became acquainted through social media platform WeChat some time in February last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling told the court that after having sex with the Malaysian, the girl felt guilty and avoided him for about three months, but he continued to harass her because he wanted to meet again.

On Sept 7 that year, he sent her a text message demanding more explicit photos of her in the nude that showed her face or he would go to her home and tell her parents about their sexual relationship.

Afraid, she sent him three photographs, which included a topless one of herself.

After she had sent him the photos, Ramesh told her, "good, see you at 7 in your house". Shocked and scared, she pleaded with him not to tell her parents. He demanded that she be part of a threesome, but she refused.

District Judge Tan Jen Tse sentenced Ramesh to 28 weeks' jail for criminal intimidation and transmitting the victim's nude photos to at least 20 men through WeChat. Two other charges were considered in sentencing.

He then threatened to send the photographs to her parents via Facebook Messenger if she did not comply with his request.

The girl confided in three friends and one of them called Ramesh to ask him to stop harassing her. A heated argument ensued. Ramesh refused and demanded to meet the victim alone. He also sent the victim's nude photo to the friend and told him to have "good fun with your friend".

DPP Chee said on Sept 18 that year, the victim received 15 to 20 friend requests in her WeChat account from unknown men. One of them told her a "Ramesh" had shared her nude photos and other information in a public WeChat group. She made a police report the next day.

A day after his arrest on Sept 29, Ramesh called her and pleaded with her to withdraw the case. He apologised and said he was married with a child. She ended the call.

DPP Chee said Ramesh admitted to circulating the victim's nude photos and contact details in the public WeChat group as he was annoyed with her.

He also said he had contacted an unknown man via WeChat and told him that they could have a "threesome" with the girl. Ramesh assured him that she would agree because he was blackmailing her.

Defence lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy said Ramesh, who is now unemployed, was genuinely sorry. The incident had also taken a toll on Ramesh's family, and his wife had threatened to divorce him.

District Judge Tan Jen Tse sentenced Ramesh to 28 weeks' jail for criminal intimidation and transmitting the victim's nude photos to at least 20 men through WeChat. Two other charges were considered in sentencing.

Ramesh could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for criminal intimidation; and for transmitting obscene objects, jailed for up to three months and/or fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline 'Man jailed for circulating teen's nude photos online'. Print Edition | Subscribe