NUS student took photos of woman in shower a month after he was spotted by another victim

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

SINGAPORE - A National University of Singapore (NUS) student who used his mobile phone to snap photos of a woman in a campus shower ran away when his victim spotted the device, only to reoffend less than a month later.

Undeterred despite the near miss, Ryan You Jun Chao targeted another woman in the university as she was in the shower.

You, 25, pleaded guilty in a district court on Friday (Feb 28) to two counts of insulting a woman's modesty. Two criminal trespass charges will be considered during sentencing.

You has since graduated.

In a statement, NUS said that its board of discipline had conducted an inquiry last April which looked into You's offences.

"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.

The first offence took place on Feb 14 last year, when You felt "tempted" to check if a woman was in a shower on campus.

When the Singaporean found an occupied cubicle, he took out his mobile phone and held it over a partition to snap pictures of a 23-year-old woman as she was in the shower.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Pavithra Ramkumar 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 panicked and fled from the common female toilet and went to the male toilet," said the DPP.

But he did it again on March 5 last year, snapping photographs of another 23-year-old woman as she was in a shower. He then left the female toilet for a nearby pantry to view the pictures.

The court heard that this second victim had also spotted someone above the door of the cubicle she was in.

The DPP said: "The victim wrapped herself in a towel and waited until others entered the common female toilet before she felt safe enough to continue showering. The victim finished her shower and left the common female toilet.

"She then noticed the accused at the pantry."

The first victim alerted the police on March 7 last year while the second lodged a police report on March 8.

DPP Pavithra urged Judge Nakhoda to sentence You to at least eight weeks' jail, stressing that he had trespassed into the women's toilets on two occasions.

Defence lawyer Raphael Louis pleaded for his client to either be given a community-based sentence or a fine of $2,000.

Community-based sentences include a short detention order in which offenders are put behind bars for up to 14 days, but will not have a criminal record after their release.

Mr Louis also told the court that You can be rehabilitated and is remorseful.

You is now out on bail of $5,000 and he will be sentenced on March 20.

For each count of insulting a woman's modesty, offenders can be jailed for up to a year and fined.

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