SINGAPORE, Sept 16 — A 26-year-old psychology undergraduate from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) filmed up women’s skirts and from under their tops for more than four months, amassing 469 videos before being caught red-handed.
Shaun Ho Yan Liang took the videos on and off campus, with most of his 335 victims still unidentified to this day.
Ho pleaded guilty in a district court today to three charges of insulting a woman’s modesty and possessing 106 obscene films, which he had downloaded from pornographic websites.
District Judge Adam Nakhoda will consider another charge under the Films Act during sentencing on Sept 23.
TODAY has reached out to NTU for comment.
Ho was nabbed on July 22, 2018 at Eastpoint shopping mall in Simei, the court heard.
He had followed a woman and her boyfriend around the NTUC FairPrice supermarket there. She first noticed him at the toothpaste section but did not find him behaving suspiciously. Only when they were at the luncheon meat section did she notice Ho pacing around them.
Ho ultimately took 10 videos of the victim within 15 minutes, standing or squatting directly behind her and aiming his mobile phone from under her shorts or top.
He used a mobile application to film her that made the phone reflect a blank screen instead of the recorded video.
Upon seeing Ho’s phone pointed under the victim’s top, her boyfriend detained Ho immediately and reported the matter to the supermarket’s security officer.
After the police seized his mobile phone for forensic examination, 459 other videos of 334 unknown female victims were extracted from it.
Ho admitted to taking the videos between February and July 2018 at various locations, including Eastpoint mall, a laboratory at the National Institute of Education’s School of Science, an overhead bridge at NTU’s North Spine, and the student activity centre at North Spine.
He would target women wearing shorts or skirts and follow them for a period of time, using the same mobile app to film them.
He took these videos almost every day, watching them again when alone to “derive pleasure”, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Seah Teh told the court.
‘Highly motivated student’: Lawyer
DPP Teh sought 10 months and three weeks’ jail for Ho, describing him as a prolific serial upskirt offender who had brazenly recorded more than a video a day on average.
But Ho’s lawyer, Kalaithasan Karuppaya, told the court that his client was a “highly motivated student with a bright future” who has “done well”.
“That shows he has the potential to reform and contribute to society,” the lawyer added.
Ho has also attended and is still going for counselling sessions and psychiatric treatment.
In response, DPP Teh pointed to a recent High Court judgement from Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, who had ruled that a young offender’s academic excellence should be irrelevant unless a link can be drawn between it and his rehabilitative capacity.
The Chief Justice had made this point in an appeal concerning convicted molester Terence Siow Kai Yuan, a National University of Singapore mathematics undergraduate.
For insulting a woman’s modesty, Ho could be jailed up to a year, fined or both.
For possessing obscene films, he could be jailed up to six months, fined up to S$20,000 or both. — TODAY