SINGAPORE — A 26-year-old man returned to his former polytechnic where he loitered outside the female toilet, waiting for women to enter so that he could film them using the toilet.
Ong Yong Kiat was sentenced to 16 weeks’ jail on Thursday (Sept 7) after pleading guilty to two counts of voyeurism. Five other similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Court documents stated that Ong would typically look for an unsuspecting woman about to enter the toilet before following them. He would then go into a cubicle next to the one the victims were using and film the victims as they sat on the toilet bowl.
The women and the polytechnic cannot be named as part of a court order to protect the victims’ identities.
Ong’s occupation was not stated in court. He wore a mask during the hearing.
On the afternoon of Nov 1 last year, Ong visited the polytechnic campus with the intention to film women using the toilet.
After observing his first victim as she went into the toilet, he followed her and entered a cubicle next to hers.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Suriya Prakash said that Ong then stood on top of the toilet bowl and placed his mobile phone camera over the divider between the cubicles to record her without her consent.
The 24-second video showed a woman with her pants down while using the toilet.
Ong stopped recording the video when the woman pulled up her pants.
The recording remained in his mobile phone until it was seized by the police on Nov 22.
A day after committing his first offence, Ong returned to the campus in the evening where he loitered around the female toilet until his second victim entered.
He took the same approach to filming the second victim as he had with the first.
In the 41-second video, he recorded the woman with her pants down and zoomed in on her exposed private parts.
After she left, Ong continued to loiter around the female toilet when a third victim entered.
This time, he stopped outside the entrance to check that the corridor was clear before entering the toilet.
He was able to record the woman with her pants down for about 11 seconds when she looked up and screamed after seeing Ong’s mobile phone.
He tried to flee the scene and deleted the video he had filmed of the third victim to avoid detection.
As the woman chased after Ong, she called out for help from by-standers.
Two by-standers joined the chase and caught up with Ong while the woman called the police.
Apart from these incidents above, Ong had been filming women in the same toilet. Once around June 2021 and once also on 1 Nov 2022.
Seeking 26 weeks’ jail, DPP Suriya said that Ong’s actions were pre-meditated and that he had waited for the victims to enter the female toilet before he followed them.
Not only did he form the intent to do that by visiting the campus, he had also checked, on one occasion, to see that the corridor was clear so that he could evade detection.
Defence counsel B Rajendraprasad urged the court to consider that this was Ong’s first brush with the law and that he has since sought treatment in the form of counselling for his “challenges”.
The nature of Ong’s challenges, including a health diagnosis, were not stated in open court.
In delivering his sentence, District Judge Eugene Teo said that although Ong had been going through a period of challenges at the time of his offending, it did not affect his culpability.
The judge also said that the circumstances of Ong committing the offence within a school were aggravating.
However, the fact that he has sought appropriate treatment to help with what he is going through suggests that there is a good chance for reformation, the judge added.
For intentionally recording another person doing a private act, Ong could have been jailed for up to two years, fined or caned, or faced any combination of these punishments.