A churchgoer with a fetish for watching women go to the toilet set up a hidden camera in a restroom to film female worshippers – then tried to sell the videos online when he was short of cash.
Business development executive Kenneth Yeo Jia Chuan, 29, filmed 66 women in total in May and June 2011, not only at his Bukit Timah church but also at one of its offices and at another unknown location.
Yeo – who had attended the church since he was young and even worked there as a technician – would hide a pinhole camera underneath sinks and air fresheners when he went to Sunday services.
When he faced financial difficulties in June 2012, he put two videos he had prepared on a file-sharing website where he advertised them for sale at $50 to $70 each.
But before he could do so, a victim in one of the videos was alerted to it and made a police report.
Yeo was sentenced to 20 months’ jail and fined $2,000 yesterday.
He pleaded guilty to eight charges of insulting a woman’s modesty, and a count each of sale of an obscene object and possession of a pornographic film. He admitted 58 similar charges which were considered during sentencing.
The court heard that Yeo was introduced to pinhole cameras by a friend in 2011 and began experimenting with them.
In May 2011, he installed a camera in his church’s handicapped toilet and later transferred the video to his laptop – beginning his two-month campaign.
By June 2012, Yeo’s business in game card trading was failing and he owed $8,000 to investors and banks. He decided to sell his voyeuristic videos, editing the clips and cropping the films into two- to three-minute-long files, with each video featuring a victim.
Yeo got in touch with a potential buyer but was arrested before the transaction could be completed. Police later found two unrelated pornographic videos on his laptop.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Rajiv Rai asked for at least 20 months’ jail, noting that Yeo was a “persistent offender” who had “committed 68 distinct offences”.
Yeo’s lawyers Mervyn Tan and Vanessa Tan said their client was “truly very sorry for what he has done and has made positive efforts to change himself”.
Yeo sought psychiatric help and is taking medication.
A letter from his psychiatrist said he had “a very strong urge to give in to his fetish for peeping or looking at secret images of women in the toilet”. He also visited voyeuristic websites “due to his loneliness and lack of girlfriends”.
A letter from a church pastor said Yeo had worked as a technician and performed his duties well.
In passing sentence, District Judge John Ng noted that Yeo had strong support from family and friends. But the judge agreed with the need for a deterrent sentence.
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