Probation rejected: Reformative training for teen voyeur who targeted schoolgirls

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read

SINGAPORE — A 16-year-old boy who targeted girls in school uniform and took upskirt videos of them was given reformative training for a minimum of 12 months, after it was found that probation was inadequate for him.

The teen, who is a Malaysian and a Singapore permanent resident, was attracted to girls in uniform and liked to take illicit videos of their genitals. When he was caught, at least 58 such videos were found in his mobile devices.

The teen, a student, cannot be named as he is below 18 and his identity is protected under the Children and Young Persons Act. He earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of voyeurism, with another three charges of a similar nature considered for his sentencing. 

Probation and reformative training are sentencing options for offenders below the age of 21. However, an offender who undergoes probation will not have a criminal record, while reformative training - which involves a more structured regime - results in a criminal record. 

'Blatant disregard for the law'

During his sentencing mention, the teen asked his probation officer why he was deemed unsuitable for probation. The latter replied that the teen’s repeated offending reflected a “blatant disregard for the law” and that despite two intervention programmes, the teen was unable to articulate what he had learned and had failed to internalise the severity of his actions.

The lack of concrete measures to prevent the teen from reoffending was also of concern. While his mother’s resignation from her job to supervise her son was “noteworthy”, both parents did not step up their supervision despite the teen’s prior arrest. He was also unreceptive towards their guidance.

The teen’s parents had displayed little insight towards their son’s risk and simply thought that he was curious about sexual matters, the officer added.

Repeated offences

On 10 January last year, the mother of a 12-year-old girl complained that the teen had tried to touch her daughter’s buttocks.

Two of the teen’s mobile phones were seized on 10 January and a forensic examination conducted, revealing 10 upskirt videos of numerous unidentified girls in school uniforms. These girls were wearing dresses or shorts and their underwear was captured.

He had taken these videos between 6 and 10 January last year at bus stops, MRT stations, and on public buses.

Even after his devices were seized and he was under investigation, the teen continued to take upskirt videos with another mobile phone.

He took nine more upskirt videos between 27 February and 20 September 2020 at locations such as parks, playgrounds, and public buses. He saved these videos on a file which required a password to be accessed.

On 1 September 2020, he was caught by a 13-year-old female student who lodged a police report after the teen recorded her in the lift.

The teen was filming up her skirt when the girl turned around to see him bent down, with his hand outstretched and placed under her skirt. She quickly exited the lift, while the teen stayed in the lift to go to his residence on a higher floor.

The girl lodged a police report the next day.

The police visited the teen’s house on 14 April this year and seized two more mobile phones. During forensic examinations, they found 39 upskirt videos of unidentified girls taken at public locations in 2021.

“During each of these occasions, the accused looked out for females in school uniforms around these locations as he was attracted to thin girls in school uniform. When he identified such a female, he would feel sexually aroused and would record an upskirt video of her, capturing her underwear,” said the prosecution.

The teen was assessed by an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist who stated that the teen had no mental illness, and that his voyeuristic behaviour “did not fulfil the criteria for a voyeuristic disorder”.

Addressing District Judge Kessler Soh, the teen said that he wanted to continue his studies and attend his upcoming exams. DJ Soh replied that the teen would still be able to study after he is sentenced.

The teen's reformative training stint is set to commence after his examinations. 

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