Singapore—Yet another Peeping Tom case has made the headlines, with a student from the National University of Singapore (NUS) accused of entering the bathroom in a women’s residential hall earlier this year and taking pictures of on two separate occasions while they showered.
On February 14 and March 5 of this year, 25-year-old Ryan You Jun Chao, now suspended by the university, is reported to have entered the women’s showers to take photos.
On October 30 he was charged with two counts each of insulting a woman’s modesty and criminal trespass. And on December 11, Wednesday, Mr You was back in district court for another mention of his case.
TODAY reports the accused’s lawyer as saying that Mr You is planning on pleading guilty to these charges on January 20, 2020.
Should he be convicted of insulting a woman’s modesty, Mr You may face jail time of one year, be made to pay a fine, or both. And if he is found guilty of criminal trespass, he may be fined a maximum of S$1,500, be made to serve a three-month jail sentence, or both.
Due to an order issued by the court for the protection of their identities, the women who Mr You photographed in the shower were not named. Also, the residence hall where the incidents of voyeurism occurred was also left unnamed.
TODAY quotes a NUS representative as saying that assistance and support were offered to both women right after NUS found out about what Mr You had done. He is currently under a “no-contact” order, which means he is disallowed from reaching out to the two women.
Along with being suspended, Mr You has been given a deferment of graduation as well as mandatory counselling and rehabilitation sessions by a disciplinary board, which will be part of his formal education record at NUS.
The article from TODAY also points out that the accused’s application to go abroad to travel with his girlfriend and her family was approved.
Last month, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) highlighted the growing use of technology in sexual misconduct cases. AWARE shared some statistics concerning sexual violence related to the use of technology at the event on November 25, which happened to be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, saying that the number has more than doubled in the last three years.
In 2016, there were only 46 acts of sexual misconduct aided by technology reported to AWARE. By 2018, the number had increased to 124. Over half of these cases revolved around pictures or videos, such as up-skirt photos or images of naked women.
“These behaviours range from unwanted and explicit sexual messages and calls (including attempts to coerce sex or a relationship) to a specific category of image-based sexual abuse,” AWARE said.
According to AWARE head Anisha Joseph, “New factors – such as the widespread availability of recording technology, and our 24/7 channels of communication – make these actions all the more pervasive and damaging today.”
Monica Baey, the young woman who brought sexual misconduct into the national discussion earlier this year, said at the event, “A lot of people feel technology-facilitated sexual violence is not the same as sexual assault, which is quite shocking to me. I’ve come to realise it is so similar. Even though you haven’t been physically violated, it’s the same.” -/TISG