Having developed romantic feelings for his co-tenant, the 43-year-old Filipino man had “desires and fantasies” to look at her body, according to court documents.
He then bought a spy camera online, which was around the size of a USB drive, and concealed it in a kitchen sponge, which he placed in the common bathroom. When the 29-year-old victim, also from the Philippines, was done showering, he retrieved the sponge and viewed the footage.
In all, the man took five video clips, lasting between five and 22 minutes each, of the victim removing her clothes and taking a shower. He then used the clips to threaten the woman when she avoided him.
On Tuesday (May 24), the Singapore State Courts sentenced the man to 21 weeks’ jail. He had pleaded guilty to one charge each of voyeurism and harassment, with another similar charge taken into consideration for sentencing.
The man cannot be named due to a gag order imposed by the court to protect the victim's identity.
Co-tenants from July 2020
In July 2020, the victim and a female friend moved into the unit where the man lived with the landlord and his wife, and another couple. The man had been living there since around 2011.
Being attracted to the victim, the man began asking her out for dinner on Fridays. She had dinner with him alone on several occasions as her friend, whom she had asked to accompany them, was often busy. The friend returned to the Philippines in August 2020.
He also bought fruits and food for her and would not accept payment for them, which made her uncomfortable. The court heard that she regarded him as a friend but felt they were not close.
In November 2020, she stopped going for meals with the man.
'I love you' on a note
On November 15, the victim found a note in her bag with “I love you” written on it, which she found "very creepy". She then decided to move out of the unit, claiming that she wanted to live closer to her workplace.
The next day, the man began texting her in an attempt to get her to stay. He added he would keep all the “remembrance”, causing her to block him on WhatsApp. The victim moved out of the unit the next day.
He then contacted her friends on Facebook Messenger and Instagram, accusing her of taking his clock and asking them to tell her to contact him.
He also sent anonymous emails asking if she wanted to see her “shower scandal” and threatening to reveal the videos he had taken, but she did not respond.
The man then prepared a CD-ROM containing a one-second video clip and a photo with the text, “Sample only and got full video. Lucky u will be here. Email me… will show to you the other.” He also added a nude photo, as well as a photo of her from Facebook.
On November 26, the man left the CD in an envelope addressed to her outside her workplace. Having viewed its contents, the victim lodged a police report against him on Nov. 27, 2020. He was arrested shortly after.
The man claimed that he had accidentally dropped the spy camera into the toilet bowl and flushed it away.
After the incident, the victim told police that she was very worried about her safety. She also felt “really betrayed” by the accused.
Those convicted of voyeurism can be jailed for up to two years and/or fined, caned, or punished.