SP student admits taking upskirt videos of women while working at store on NUS campus

A forensic examination of the student's device revealed photo collages of 31 separate female victims.
A forensic examination of the student's device revealed photo collages of 31 separate female victims.PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A Singapore Polytechnic student was working part time at a store on the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus when he took upskirt videos of more than 30 women.

The 17-year-old offender cannot be named due to recent amendments to the Children and Young Persons Act. The law now covers those below 18 years old.

He pleaded guilty in a district court on Thursday (Oct 29) to two counts of insulting a woman's modesty. Two other charges for similar offences will be considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Darren Sim said that one of the victims entered the store on Aug 31 last year.

She was bending down to check some goods when the teenager crept behind her and used his mobile phone to record an upskirt video of her.

Soon after, the woman was at the counter to make her payment when the teenager told her that he needed to conduct a price check. Instead, he squatted behind her and recorded a second upskirt video.

The DPP said: "As the accused was taking the second video, his mobile phone came into contact with the victim's lower right leg.

"The victim immediately turned back and saw the accused behind her... The accused then stood up and the victim asked him if he had taken an upskirt photo of her."

The court heard that the woman asked to see the photo gallery on the device after the teenager denied committing the offence.

"The accused agreed as the videos he had taken were hidden in a secure folder that was password protected," said DPP Sim.

The woman looked through the mobile phone but could not find any incriminating images. Despite this, she lodged a police report on Sept 2 last year.

Officers who conducted an investigation viewed closed-circuit television footage from the store, which shows the teenager committing the offences. They arrested him and seized his mobile phone.

A forensic examination of the device revealed photo collages of 31 separate female victims.

In total, the teenager took 40 videos of these women at the store between late May and Sept 1 last year.

After recording these videos, he would take screen shots at various points and convert them into collages stored on his Google Drive. He would then delete the videos, the court heard.

On Thursday, the court called for a report to assess his suitability for probation. He will be sentenced on Dec 14.

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

In a statement to The Straits Times, SP said that the teenager is still one of its students.

Its spokesman added: "SP takes a strong stand against sexual misconduct and expects all members of our community to conduct themselves in accordance with the law at all times. We will not hesitate to mete out disciplinary action against any member of our community who breaches our code of conduct.

"As court proceedings are ongoing, we are unable to comment further."