Man filmed niece in shower, took indecent photos of her while she slept

A woman in the shower.
A woman in the shower. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man filmed his niece in the shower by placing his mobile phone on the toilet window ledge with its camera lens pointed at her.

The victim saw the phone, deleted the video clip of her and threw the device on the bathroom floor.

Her uncle, a 32-year-old national from Myanmar, admitted on Wednesday (11 August) to one count of insulting the woman’s modesty in 2017. Two other charges of similar incidents in 2018 and 2019 involving the same victim, now 20, will be taken into consideration for sentencing.

The 2018 charge states that the man took an upskirt photo of the same victim in 2018, when she was wearing a dress. A year later, on 5 July 2019, the man used the same phone to take two photographs of the woman while aiming the lens at the opening of her shorts when she was sleeping in her bedroom.

The man and his niece, who is also a Myanmar national, cannot be named due to a gag order protecting the woman’s identity. At the time, she was staying with her mother, paternal aunt and her family. The accused was related to the husband of the victim’s paternal aunt.

Sometime in 2017, the victim took a shower in the master bedroom toilet after returning home from school. As she finished her shower she looked up and saw the man’s mobile phone placed on the toilet window ledge with its camera lens pointed towards the shower area.

She took the phone and saw that it was in recording mode. She deleted the video clip of her showering and threw the phone onto the toilet floor before leaving. She did not tell anyone about her discovery, fearing that no one would believe her.

The man retrieved his phone and saw that the recording had been switched off, with nothing recorded.

After the incident, the woman felt fearful of showering or sleeping at home, worried that the man would do something to insult her modesty again.

The man lost the phone he used in the 2017 incident, and the phone that he used for his subsequent offences was seized for investigations.

On 17 July 2019, the victim’s school counsellor filed a police report regarding the offences.

The prosecution called for 12 weeks’ jail for the man, saying that he had gravely intruded the woman’s privacy.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Ee Hsiun noted that the victim was young at the time of the first offence, and that the act had been carried out by a family member whom she “was entitled to trust”.

He said the victim had also suffered negative psychological effects as shown by her fear of showering and sleeping.

District Judge Christopher Goh adjourned the sentencing to 13 September.

For insulting the modesty of a woman, the man faces a jail term of up to one year, or a fine, or both.

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