Court imposes gag order on name of undergraduate charged with taking upskirt, shower videos of female students

In his second court appearance since he was charged, the accused’s lawyer Josephus Tan said that the victims involved might be identified should the man’s name be reported in the media. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — In the latest development in an ongoing case, a male undergraduate accused of taking upskirt and shower videos of his fellow students at a local university had his identity redacted by the State Courts on Tuesday (22 October).

This came after the 26-year-old man’s lawyer applied for a gag order extension. The accused currently faces 24 counts of insulting a woman’s modesty over offences allegedly committed between August 2017 and March 2019 while on the university campus.

A total of 21 counts involve him allegedly placing his mobile phone above a shower cubicle door to film his victims, while three charges state that he filmed under the skirt of an unidentified woman in a university classroom. From his charge sheets, a total of four women were involved.

In his second court appearance since he was charged, the man’s lawyer Josephus Tan said that the victims involved might be identified should the man’s name be reported in the media. When he was first charged, the court only imposed a gag order that covered the victims.

Under a court-imposed gag order, no person or media outlet can publish any details that might lead to the identification of the crime victim. These details include their names, addresses and photographs. Gag orders are usually imposed by the court to protect the identities of victims in sexual cases or cases involving children. In certain cases, the gag order will be extended to the accused person if the victim can be identified through the naming of the accused.

Accused, victims shared dormitory room

In response to Tan’s application, a police prosecutor said that she would leave the decision to extend the gag order to the court.

However, District Judge Adam Nakhoda said there was a need for the prosecution to assess whether there was a risk of the victims’ identities being exposed.

“As far as I am concerned, there is no need to extend the gag order to the accused’s identity unless there is a relationship between him and the victim. If there is no fear of identification of the victim, I won’t grant any such order. The prosecution needs information on whether there is genuine concern.” he said.

The case was later stood down for the prosecution to deliberate whether the gag order should be extended to cover the accused’s identity. When the case resumed, the prosecution accepted that a gag order should be extended to the man, as he had shared a dormitory with four of his victims when he committed the offences.

This led DJ Nakhoda to say that there should be no further publishing of the man’s details. The man will return to court on 12 November.

More Singapore stories:

PHOTOS: Volocopter air taxi's test flight at Marina Bay

Live: Volocopter proof of concept flight