Singapore — A 67-year-old man who experienced a “sudden urge to see” the naked body of the domestic helper employed in his home and who filmed her in the shower was given a four-month jail sentence on Wednesday (Jul 14).
He was discovered after the helper found a mobile phone under the door while she was taking a shower.
The employer entered guilty pleas to one count each of voyeurism and insulting a woman’s modesty, with two other charges taken into consideration for his sentence.
The man’s name has not been disclosed in order to protect the identity of the helper, who hails from Myanmar.
The helper, who is now 32, began working for the man and his wife in Mar 2016, and the first few years of her employment passed without incident.
However, the troubles began one night in Aug 2019, when she told the man of her intention to take a shower.
When she told him this, the man felt “a sudden urge to see” the helper’s naked body, said Mr Ng Jun Chong, the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case.
While the helper was already in the shower, the man slipped his mobile phone into the gap under the door of the kitchen bathroom.
In that first instance, he only filmed her showering for less than one minute, due to the fear of getting caught. He took the phone away and watched the video clip, then deleted it.
However, he continued filming the helper in the shower on various other occasions in Aug, Sept, and Nov 2019 whenever he felt the urge to see her naked.
On Dec 21, 2019, as the helper was in the shower, she saw that a phone had been placed under the bathroom door. Moreover, she noticed that the lens of the caners was pointed toward her.
But she did not tell her employers about the incident, because she felt afraid. Instead, she took her own phone and set it up in the kitchen to record on video the area approaching the bathroom.
She caught on film on Jan 12, 2020, the man filming her in the shower for around three minutes.
That night, she slipped away to seek help at the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) shelter without telling her employers.
The staff at HOME advised her to file a police report, which led to the man’s arrest.
According to the man’s lawyers, he is “most remorseful and wishes to convey his apologies to the victim”. He suffered from several medical conditions, and what he had done was a “lapse in judgment.”
However, the prosecution pointed out that the man had filmed her several times and that he could have spread the videos he took of the maid showering.
The judge pointed out that the helper should feel safe in her place of employment.
For the offence of insulting a woman’s modesty, the man could have received a jail term of as long as one year, as well as been made to pay a fine. The consequences for the man’s offences could have been increased by one and a half times since the victim is a domestic helper.
As for the voyeurism charge, the man could have spent two years in prison, been made to pay a fine, and he may have even had to face double of these penalties because the woman was a helper in his household. /TISG
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