Man who used spy pen to film female friends showering jailed 11 weeks

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
A pen with a small camera lens embedded (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
A pen with a small camera lens embedded (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A man who used a spy pen to film female friends showering in a toilet was jailed for 11 weeks on Tuesday (10 November).

The 28-year-old man’s offences were discovered by a male friend who felt uneasy after seeing the offender leaving the unisex toilet with a bag.

Although the friend did not see anything suspicious, he later found the pen in the toothbrush holder and tried to use it but realised it could not write. He found out the pen’s true nature after dismantling it.

Using two spy pens that he bought online for about $20 to $30 each, the man would enter the toilet before his victims to plant the devices with the lens angled towards the shower area. He would leave the devices in recording mode, targeting female friends and a tenant who stayed at his home. After he recorded the victims, the man would retrieve the spy pens and view the videos.

He admitted to taking the videos for fun, although he knew it was wrong.

One of the victims was the girlfriend of the man who found the spy pen, while another was the accused’s close female friend of seven years.

The man pleaded guilty to two charges of insulting the modesty of the two women in 2017 and a charge of possessing 14 obscene films in his phone and an external hard drive.

Another three charges involving two other female victims were taking into consideration for his sentencing.

All victims cannot be named due to a gag order protecting their identities.

The man’s close female friend, 26, often visited his house. On one occasion in July 2017, she went to his house for a co-curricular activity meeting. Unbeknownst to her, the man planted a spy cam in his toilet to take videos of his female friends. He captured the victim showering in a video, which lasted eight minutes.

Filmed girlfriend of male friend

On the afternoon of 2 September 2017, the man, his male friend, and a few female friends visited a mutual friend who stayed at a condominium to swim. After swimming, at about 6pm, the group headed to the condominium unit to shower.

It was agreed that the women would use the front toilet while the men used the back toilet. The man decided to use this opportunity to install his spy pen in the front toilet to video the women showering.

While in the unit, the man’s male friend spotted the man emerging from the toilet and asked him why he was there. However, the man did not reply.

The friend felt uneasy as he saw the man carrying a black sling bag after he left the toilet. The friend decided to check the toilet. Although he did not see anything suspicious, he found a pen in the toothbrush holder.

The man dismantled the pen and found that it had a camera and an SD card. He kept the pen.

The next morning, he told his girlfriend, 26, about the pen and they both reviewed the SD card and discovered its contents. The pen contained a nine-minute video capturing the girlfriend fully naked while showering.

The friend and the victims confronted the man on 11 September but he denied the offence and lied about it. After finding more spy devices in the man’s residence, the group decided to lodge a police report.

The man’s electronic devices were seized the next day and 14 obscene videos were unearthed through forensic examination.

Sentencing the man, District Judge Adam Nakhoda agreed with the prosecution that there were serious aggravating factors in this case, including a “high degree of planning and premeditation”.

“The accused had procured spy cameras and had a thought-out modus operandi which involved him planting the spy cameras in the toilet and angling it towards the shower area,” said the judge.

There was an element of abuse of trust as the man knew the victims and the offence had occured while the offender and victims gathered. There was also a “very high level” of intrusion as the victims were captured fully naked and with their faces exposed.

“There is potential for dissemination and had the videos been distributed, these would have been all the more devastating,” noted DJ Nakhoda. The judge considered mitigating factors, such as the man’s cooperation with the police, his plea of guilt, and that he was unlikely to reoffend.

The judge also factored a small discount into Lee’s sentence given that his case was delayed.

For insulting the modesty of a woman, Lee could have been jailed up to a year, or fined, or both.

For possessing an obscene film, he could have been jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $20,000.

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