UPDATE: Story has been updated with a reply from NTU.
SINGAPORE — After a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) undergraduate was caught filming under the shirt of a woman, he was found with another 459 illicit videos involving 334 unknown female victims in his phone.
Shaun Ho Yan Liang, 26, would film the breast area, under-shirt or vaginal area of women he found attractive at various locations on and off campus, including the laboratory of the National Institute of Education’s School of Science, and an overhead bridge located at the North Spine of Nanyang Technological University.
Ho, then a psychology student at NTU, would also film his classmates during lessons.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of insulting the modesty of a woman by taking five illicit videos of her at NTUC Fairprice in EastPoint Mall, one charge of intruding the privacy of 334 unidentified women by capturing 459 videos of them, and one point of possessing 106 obscene films under the Films Act. A charge of possessing 158 pirated films will be taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Ho took the 459 compromising videos – around one a day – between 2 February and 22 July 2018. He would look out for women dressed in shorts or skirts. When he found women attractive, he would then approach them and either squat or stand close, with his mobile phone camera aimed towards her private parts. To conceal his actions, he would use an application that made the screen blank while he was recording. At times, he would follow his victim for a while.
After taking the videos, he would derive pleasure from viewing them privately.
Ho was caught on 22 July 2018 when a victim noticed him pacing around her and her boyfriend while at NTUC supermarket on level 5 of Eastpoint mall. She told her boyfriend that Ho was following them and they kept an eye on him.
From 8.40pm to 8.55pm, Ho followed the victim and took filmed 10 videos under her shirt and of her buttocks. At one point, the victim’s boyfriend caught Ho in the act and detained him. He reported the offence to the store’s security officer, who lodged a police report.
After Ho was arrested, his laptop was seized and 106 pornographic videos were found. Ho admitted to downloading them in 2018.
Ho’s lawyer Kalaithasan Karuppaya said that his client was a “bright individual” who can reform and had the potential to contribute to society.
Diagnosed with deviancy associated with voyeurism, Ho has taken “proactive steps to attend counselling (and) attend psychiatric treatment”, his lawyer added.
“The psychiatrist has stated that he is coping well now and has demonstrated increased insight into his problem and there has been no recurrence of offending behaviour,” said the lawyer.
However, DPP Sean Teh cited a previous case involving student Terence Siow where the court ruled that the offender’s academic capabilities were irrelevant unless a link could be drawn between scholastic excellence and capacity for rehabilitation. In Ho’s case, such a link was not drawn, said Teh.
The prosecutor sought 10 months and three weeks’ jail, while Ho’s lawyer argued for a lower sentence.
Ho will be sentenced on 23 September.
Responding to a query from Yahoo News Singapore, an NTU spokesperson said that Ho is no longer taking classes at the university.
He will be subject to NTU’s disciplinary proceedings after the conclusion of the judiciary proceedings and court sentencing, he added.
“The University takes a strong stand against sexual misconduct. Any student who has committed such acts of misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension or expulsion from the University, depending on the severity of his offences, and other mitigating or aggravating factors,” the spokesman said.
“Where the case is before the courts, the University will generally take action after judicial proceedings are completed so as to be able to take into account the findings of the court.”
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