SINGAPORE — A 19-year-old foreign student studying for his A Levels at a private institution here who took illicit videos of other men was sentenced for his offences on Monday (17 May).
Tang Jiasheng, a Chinese national, had filmed men at his hostel and at a junior college.
He was jailed three months and two weeks, and fined $1,500 after he pleaded guilty to eight charges of making obscene films and voyeurism. Another 35 charges of a similar nature were taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said that Tang’s age made him suitable for probation or reformative training, but the offences were too serious and he had no family in Singapore to ensure that he adhered to his conditions.
Tang began filming male residents at his hostel toilet from September 2019. He would place his mobile phone in recording mode at the bottom gap or upper gap between the toilet cubicles to capture males urinating, defecating, showering or masturbating.
One of the victims, an 18-year-old male, realised that someone was filming him on 19 January last year and reported the matter to hostel management. A staff member called the police, who initially suspected Tang’s roommate of the offence but did not find any incriminating evidence.
Tang continued his illicit acts from 19 January to 22 January last year. He was tracked down by the staff member on 22 January. The staff member called Tang into his office and discovered a hidden folder on his phone containing 41 compromising video clips. Two of these clips were of Tang himself.
While being interviewed by the police, Tang admitted that he had been recording males at the hostel since September 2019. He also admitted to an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist that he had filmed males at a local junior college in 2019 until he was caught. He had not been reported to the police at the time.
Court documents did not state if Tang had been studying at the junior college. However, he began attending the private institution after he was caught in 2019.
Tang admitted that he made the videos as he was aroused at sight of the victims' private parts.
“He also admitted to the police that... he got a thrill from doing something which he knew was wrong and illegal,” said DPP Chong.
Tang was charged on 24 February and 3 September last year, and was placed on court bail. However, he reoffended while awaiting his court case.
On 10 March this year, he filmed a 23-year-old male who was showering in a toilet at the same hostel. The victim spotted Tang’s phone point at him from above the cubicle partition and shouted. He later called the police.
Tang fled into another cubicle upon hearing the shout and deleted the video. In total, Tang filmed males on at least 24 occasions, producing 36 clips, some of which featured the victims’ faces.
A psychiatrist assed Tang to have a mental disorder, the nature of which was not revealed in court proceedings. However, the disorder did not have a contributory link to his offending acts.
Tang’s lawyer, Sarah Tan, noted that her client had sought medical help and regular treatment of his own volition. She added that Tang wanted to obtain a university degree and provide for his family back in China.
As Tang’s mother is a freelancer in China, she is struggling with the finances to prepare for Tang to return home, the lawyer said. Tan added that Tang would not be able to pay the fine and asked for a short jail term instead.
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