Former secondary school friends jailed 12 weeks for filming upskirt videos

Former secondary school friends jailed 12 weeks for filming upskirt videos
PHOTO: TNP

They have been friends since Secondary 1 and would share things with each other.

But disturbingly, they also shared upskirt videos they took of unsuspecting females, as well as an account on a popular local forum where they would upload the videos.

Yesterday, Patrick Sim, 20, and Lee Yi Jie, 21, were each sentenced to 12 weeks' jail for taking upskirt videos.

Lee had pleaded guilty to nine upskirt charges, with 36 others taken into consideration, while Sim admitted to three charges, with five taken into consideration.

Court papers said that in 2013, the two youths hatched a plan to film upskirt videos, post them on the forum for other members to view and gain "reputation points".

Sim and Lee would capture shots of their victims' faces, inner thighs and underwear. Their preferred targets were teenage girls browsing in crowded shops as the duo could pretend to reach for items on the lower shelves while recording the videos.

After filming their victims, they transferred the videos on their computers and uploaded them on the forum, as well as other cloud-based sharing services such as Dropbox and Mega.

CAUGHT

But their reign of mischief ended after they were caught by two 17-year-old girls, both of whom had been filmed, at a shopping mall in the north-east of Singapore on Sept 20, 2013.

The girls left the store immediately and later called their school's operation manager who rushed over to the mall. He then made a police report and the youths were later arrested.

The police also found 137 obscene films on Sim's computer and mobile phone.

Yesterday, District Judge Mathew Joseph said during sentencing that upskirt offences were becoming more prevalent - increasing from 387 in 2009 to almost 600 in 2013.

The judge said that the youths were recommended for probation but he did not accept that their offences were committed through youthful folly and curiosity.

"This case is also a stark reminder of how modern technology - smartphones and the Internet - can be abused in devious and abhorrent ways," he said.

Criminal lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said the uploading of such videos may count as an aggravating factor - compared to just keeping them for personal viewing.

Lawyer Luke Lee said that platforms such as the forum that facilitate the distribution of such videos may also be flouting the Films Act.


This article was first published on July 4 2015.
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