In a recent court ruling, a 26-year-old man named Ong Yong Kiat was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment on Thursday, September 7, after pleading guilty to two counts of voyeurism.
The case involved disturbing incidents that occurred at a polytechnic campus, where Ong would loiter outside the female restroom, waiting for unsuspecting women to enter so he could film them while using the toilet. The court also considered five other similar charges during sentencing according to the report.
In compliance with a court order aimed at safeguarding the identities of both the victims and the polytechnic institution in question, the names of these individuals cannot be revealed. Throughout the court proceedings, Ong’s occupation remained undisclosed, and he attended the hearing while wearing a mask.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED :
The incidents took place on the afternoon of November 1 the previous year when Ong visited the polytechnic campus with the intention of filming women using the restroom. His modus operandi involved observing his victims, following them into the restroom, and entering a cubicle adjacent to theirs. He would then use his mobile phone camera to record them without their consent.
One of the videos, lasting 24 seconds, depicted a woman with her pants down while using the toilet. Ong stopped recording when the woman pulled up her pants. The video remained on his mobile phone until it was seized by the police on November 22.
On the following day after his first offense, Ong returned to the campus in the evening and continued to loiter around the female restroom. When his second victim entered, he followed the same pattern, recording her with her pants down. The video in this instance was 41 seconds long and included zoomed-in footage of the woman’s exposed private parts.
Ong’s actions escalated when a third victim entered the restroom. This time, he checked the corridor to ensure it was clear before entering the restroom. He managed to record the woman for about 11 seconds before she noticed and screamed upon seeing his mobile phone. In an attempt to evade capture, Ong fled the scene and deleted the video he had taken of the third victim, the report added.
The woman gave chase and called for help from bystanders. Two individuals joined the pursuit and eventually caught Ong, while the woman contacted the police.
It was also revealed that Ong had committed similar offenses in the same restroom, once in June 2021 and again on November 1, 2022.
During the sentencing phase, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Suriya Prakash sought a 26-week jail term, highlighting that Ong’s actions were premeditated, and he intentionally targeted victims at the campus restroom. The DPP emphasized that Ong had even checked to ensure he could evade detection on one occasion.
In his defense, Ong’s counsel, B Rajendraprasad, urged the court to consider that this was Ong’s first encounter with the law. Rajendraprasad also mentioned that Ong had sought treatment in the form of counseling for his undisclosed “challenges.”
In delivering the sentence, District Judge Eugene Teo acknowledged Ong’s challenging circumstances but emphasized that they did not excuse his actions. The judge noted the aggravating factor of Ong committing the offense within an educational institution but also considered Ong’s efforts to seek treatment as indicative of potential rehabilitation.
For intentionally recording individuals engaged in private acts, Ong could have faced a maximum penalty of up to two years in jail, a fine, caning, or a combination of these punishments.
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