Jailed: Ex-NUS student who recorded upskirt and changing room videos of 104 women

Wan Ting Koh
·Reporter
·4-min read
Yahoo News Singapore file photo
Yahoo News Singapore file photo

SINGAPORE — After finishing class at the National University of Singapore, a male undergraduate decided to film under the skirt of his classmate as she climbed a staircase.

Desmond Teh Yu Kiat was caught in the act by a fellow undergraduate.

After the 27-year-old was arrested, 230 compromising videos of women, including of them changing, were unearthed from his devices. Of these, 70 captured the faces of victims, bringing the total number of victims to 104 unidentified women over a period from June 2015 to March 2017.

Teh, a Singaporean, was jailed for 28 weeks on Tuesday (11 August), after he pleaded guilty to three charges of insulting the modesty of women and a charge of possessing 594 obscene films of a sexual nature. A fourth count of insulting the modesty of a woman was considered for sentencing.

At the point of his arrest, Teh was then a third-year student pursuing a degree in Chemistry. As a result of his offences, an internal Board of Discipline inquiry was held in May 2017 for Teh, a spokesperson from NUS told Yahoo News Singapore. He was given a range of sanctions, including suspension for two semesters, mandatory counselling and community work. These sanctions formed part of his educational record at the University, NUS added.

Teh graduated from NUS last year and worked as a sales engineer for a chemical company until he resigned this month due to his court case.

He took videos of unknown females in a state of undress in changing rooms between July and August 2015. To take these videos, he would choose a shop with a unisex changing room. He would then camp in a changing room and record victims next door by propping his handphone against his bag or holding his handphone.

He took upskirt videos at elevated platforms such as escalators, staircases either by squatting or walking closely behind victims and placing his handphone under their skirts in recording mode. He targetted women at a range of locations, including MRT stations, McDonald’s, Cold Storage and numerous spots within the NUS campus, such as the bookshop, school canteen, sports hall, cafe, bus stop and the NUS internal shuttle bus.

“The accused would feel tempted to take upskirt videos using his handphone whenever he finds an attractive girl around the age of 20 to 25 who is dressed well. He admitted that he is aware that it is wrong to take upskirt videos, but he did not seek any professional help,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhou Yang told the court.

In addition to these videos, another 594 obscene videos were recovered from Teh’s electronic devices. He would download these videos from websites and re-post them or exchange them with other users.

On 24 March 2017, Teh’s offending came to an end when his classmate lodged a police report against him. As he trailed the woman – also an undergraduate – towards the NUS School of Business, another undergraduate spotted him and shouted, “Stop it because I can report you to the police” several times.

The victim turned around and Teh walked past her while gesturing in apology at the witness.

The witness then told the victim that Teh was taking an upskirt video of her. He exchanged contact details with the victim and advised her to report the matter to campus security.

DPP Zhou argued for at least 30 weeks’ jail for Teh, who displayed a high degree of intrusion, premeditation and planning over a long period of time.

He pointed out that Teh had admitted that although his initial motivation was sexual, the videos became a channel for him to destress. As Teh became good at the acts and the risk of getting caught became smaller, Teh further indulged in his behaviour though he knew his actions were wrong, said the DPP.

Teh was diagnosed by the Institute of Mental Health with Paraphilic Disorder, which involves him deriving sexual pleasure or gratification from non-sexual objects or practices, which in Teh’s case, means taking voyeuristic upskirt videos.

Teh’s lawyer, Cheryl Sim, said that her client had sought help by attending counselling in a bid to prevent him from reoffending.

“He recognised that he had a problem and was motivated during counselling to address the root of his problem. He even expressed that he was relieved that he was caught as his stress-coping mechanism of taking upskirt videos had started to take over his life,” said the lawyer.

She added that Teh was a bright individual with a lot of potential as could be seen from testimonials from schools and his time serving National Service.

The lawyer told the court that it was a “tough time” for Teh’s family as his sister was also incarcerated, and that the matter would take a heavy toll on his aged grandmother, whom he lives with.

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore

Other Singapore stories

Man jailed and caned for uploading nude photos of 2 ex-girlfriends, sex with underage girl

Ship repair firm fined $300,000, assistant supervisor jailed 12 weeks over diver's death

Lawyer Jeffrey Ong faces 4 more CBT charges involving $11.7 million

Man who claimed trial to murdering father, 75, was likely of unsound mind during act