Two teens put on probation over upskirt offences

Two teenage boys were each sentenced to one year and nine months' probation yesterday after they captured over 60 upskirt videos of girls and women, including their schoolmates and teachers.

Each boy's parents were also bonded for $5,000 to ensure their good behaviour.

The two, who are from a secondary school in Ang Mo Kio, cannot be named because of a gag order to protect their victims' identities.

Between late 2016 and Jan 3 this year, the duo committed the offences in their school as well as other places such as AMK Hub shopping mall, Ang Mo Kio Public Library and the Popular bookstore in Junction 8 mall.

The duo, both 16 now, pleaded guilty to their offences on Sept 7. One of them was convicted of six counts of insulting a woman's modesty while the other admitted to eight similar charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho told the court that the boys' offences came to light when a schoolmate alerted a teacher on Jan 3 this year after she suspected one of them had taken an upskirt video of her.

The boy refused to unlock his mobile phone when the teacher told him to do so and the matter was referred to the discipline master.

 
 
 

The boy eventually relented and, when the videos were uncovered, confessed that he had taken them.

Police later found 27 upskirt and attempted upskirt videos on his phone, along with five videos of girls in the shower.

The court heard that he also took videos in class when the female students were seated, and in the hall where he placed his phone on the floor in record mode to capture the students who walked past.

He said he was influenced by the other boy, who was in the same co-curricular activity as him.

The court heard that this other boy had showed him some of the upskirt videos he had taken towards the end of 2016, and shared with him tips on how to take them.

In one incident, while the duo were at a five-day camp in school late last year, they tried, but failed, to plant a small camera in the female shower cubicles to film their schoolmates.

On the third night of the camp on Nov 30 last year, they saw that an area around a female toilet was empty. They went in and filmed their schoolmates in the shower by holding their phones over the top of the cubicles.

Those convicted of insulting a woman's modesty can be jailed for up to a year and fined for each charge.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2018, with the headline 'Two teens put on probation over upskirt offences'. Print Edition | Subscribe