Airbnb owner filmed woman in home toilet with pinhole camera

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
A woman showering
A woman showering. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man who rented out his room via lodging marketplace Airbnb was planning to film a woman showering.

Jonathan Huang, 33, placed a pinhole camera in a flowerpot in the unit’s toilet upon learning that the victim, who knew the tenant, was planning to stay over on 9 May last year.

After a shower, the victim noticed a shiny object in the flowerpot and found the pinhole camera. The 29-year-old foreign national removed the SD card and left for her own unit.

Huang, a Singaporean, pleaded guilty on Thursday (17 June) to one of two counts of voyeurism, with the other count to be taken into consideration for his sentencing, which has been adjourned to 23 July.

He was ordered to undergo an assessment for a mandatory treatment order report by District Judge Prem Raj. The nature of his mental disorder was not revealed in court. 

Huang, who is self employed, placed a room in his unit for rent on Airbnb. In October 2018, the victim responded to his advertisement and rented the room for a few days. She kept in contact with Huang after her stay.

In March 2020, the victim learned that her friend, who is also 29, needed a temporary place to stay. The victim recommended Huang’s room and put her in contact with Huang. The friend moved into the room before 1 May last year.

On 9 May 2020, the victim visited her friend and Huang, who learned that the victim intended to stay overnight. He decided to film the victim showering for his own sexual gratification.

At around 1am on 10 May, Huang hid a pinhole camera in a flowerpot, which was placed on top of the tank of the toilet bowl. He turned on the pinhole camera and directed it towards the toilet’s showering area.

He then left the unit with the victim’s friend to head to a laundromat. About 12 minutes later, the victim took a shower in the unit’s toilet, and three video clips were taken of her.

During the process, the victim noticed a shiny object in the flowerpot and discovered the camera. She removed the SD card and left for her own home. Meanwhile, Huang and the friend returned to the unit shortly before 2am.

Huang went to the toilet to check on the pinhole camera and found the SD card missing. He panicked as he did not know if he had been discovered.

Before 4am, he entered the friend’s room to ask her if the victim was angry at him. After repeated questions by the friend on why the victim would be angry, Huang confessed that he had placed a pinhole camera in the toilet to record the victim showering.

The friend left for the victim’s residence and discussed the situation. The victim decided to lodge a police report at 3.40pm.

For voyeurism, Huang may be jailed up to two years, or fined, or caned, or with any combination of such punishments.

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