NSF convicted of insulting woman's modesty claims he entered female toilet 'under the spell of the spirit'

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Feb 14, 2023

A full-time national serviceman (NSF) with the Singapore Police Force entered a female restroom at a police unit, while a policewoman was having a shower inside a cubicle.

Jonathan Chua Wei Cong, 26, who has since completed his national service, then placed his mobile phone at the top of the cubicle door.

In his defence, Chua claimed he was followed by a “spirit”.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Zhi Hao told District Judge Brenda Tan: “He admitted that it was possible that he could have entered the female toilet ‘under the spell of the spirit’, but could not remember the details and did not know because his mind was ‘blank’ at the material time.”

After a trial on Tuesday, Judge Tan convicted Chua of one count each of criminal trespass and insulting a woman’s modesty.

Details about the policewoman, then 30, and the unit cannot be disclosed due to a gag order to protect her identity.

In his submissions, DPP Tan said Chua and two male coursemates ended their lessons at the unit some time after 4.30pm on March 12, 2019. The trio then made their way to a male toilet, passing by the female restroom along the way.

According to the two coursemates, they left the male toilet first, and Chua caught up with them between 30 seconds and three minutes later.

“The accused was left alone and unattended during this period of time,” said DPP Tan.

During the trial, the victim testified that she was taking a shower at around 4.45pm when she heard the main toilet door open about 10 minutes later.

DPP Tan said: “About five to 10 seconds later, she turned to face the... cubicle door, and saw a mobile phone appearing in an upward motion from the top right-hand side of the said door.

“The victim froze initially, before she reacted by shouting ‘Oi’ loudly. She saw the phone move downwards, disappearing from her sight. She heard the main toilet door widen, before she heard the said door close.”

The prosecutor told the court that the policewoman took less than five minutes to dry herself and get dressed before she left the shower cubicle.

She did not see the intruder as the person had fled by then.

The policewoman reported the incident to her superiors and provided a description of the phone that she saw. She lodged a police report that evening.

DPP Tan said: “While on the stand, the victim stated that when she saw the phone pointed at her, she ‘blanked out’ and felt ‘humiliated’... She broke down and started sobbing when she was asked to recall how she felt.”

The prosecutor also told the court that Chua was the only one who could have entered the female toilet while the victim was showering.

DPP Tan told the court: “The evidence leads to an irresistible inference that the accused must have been the intruder who placed his mobile phone at the top of the... cubicle door and pointed it at the victim.”

Chua earlier claimed he had accidentally pushed open the main door of the female toilet that day but did not enter the restroom, said the prosecutor.

He also denied being the intruder, claiming there was no one showering there when he opened the door.

Chua’s mitigation and sentencing is expected to take place on March 22.

The Straits Times

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