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The police have responded to public debate on the 12-month conditional warning given to a 23-year-old male National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate who took a video of a female student while she was showering in her hostel bathroom.
Monica Baey, 23, took to Instagram on Friday (Apr 19) to publicise how she was recorded by a fellow student and personal friend while she was showering in her hostel bathroom at Eusoff Hall last November.
After he was slapped with a 12-month conditional warning, she wrote she wanted "real consequences for perpetrators that commit such acts".
In response to media queries, the police said in a statement on Tuesday morning (Apr 23) that the student who had committed criminal trespass and insulted the modesty of Ms Baey was assessed to have a high likelihood of rehabilitation, and was remorseful.
In deciding whether to prosecute him for a criminal offence, the police said there were also additional factors relating to his conduct including the absence of obscene materials in any of his devices.
The police also said allegations that the student was not prosecuted because he has influential parents are untrue, clarifying that such factors are irrelevant considerations.
The student's parents agreed to disclose that his father is a driver in the public transport sector and his mother is a housewife.
Here is the full police statement:
"There have been public discussions regarding the 12-month conditional warning given to a 23-year-old male National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate who had committed criminal trespass and insulted the modesty of a female undergraduate at the NUS.
"There are two factors (which are both inter-related and yet separate): the first relates to rules to ensure that premises like NUS provide a safe environment, and the second relates to criminal prosecution.
"On the first, Police understand that NUS is reviewing its rules, on how such conduct is to be treated.
"On the second issue: Police and AGC understand public concerns, on ensuring that our laws and enforcement provide sufficient protection for potential victims, and sufficient deterrence against would-be offenders.
"That is the approach that Police and AGC take.
"In deciding whether to recommend prosecution for a criminal offence, a number of factors are considered by Police in each case, including the age of the accused, the likelihood of reoffending/rehabilitation, the extent of remorse shown, whether there are aggravating factors (for example, like circulation of the offending images).
"In this case, the accused was assessed to have a high likelihood of rehabilitation, and was remorseful. There were also additional factors relating to his conduct which were relevant, such as the absence of other obscene materials in any of his devices.
"A prosecution, with a possible jail sentence, will, likely ruin his entire future, with a permanent criminal record. Taking into account these factors, he was given a conditional warning, which means that if he commits any other criminal offence within 12 months, he will be liable to be prosecuted for both this current offence and the subsequent other offence.
"He will then likely face a jail sentence.
"Our criminal justice system seeks to temper punishment and deterrence, with giving offenders a second chance to reform, based on assessment of the relevant factors.
"The approach in this case is consistent with the approach taken in other cases.
"There have been a number of similar cases, where such conditional warnings have been given.
"Where other relevant factors are involved, for example, a prior criminal record, premeditation to evade detection, there will often be a prosecution.
"Allegations that the man was not prosecuted because he has influential parents are untrue - the Police and AGC did not consider his parents' background.
"Such factors are irrelevant considerations.
"It is unfortunate that such untruths have been put out.
"The man’s parents have agreed for it to be disclosed that his father is a driver in the public transport sector and his mother is a housewife.
"The Police are also aware of comparisons being made between this case and a 2015 case involving a 23-year-old man who was charged and sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment for filming a woman showering at Republic Polytechnic (RP).
"The accused in the RP case had committed multiple criminal trespass offences, taken deliberate action to avoid detection by covering up the CCTVs in the vicinity and covering his face with a towel, and did not own up voluntarily but was arrested following Police investigations to track him down.
"He was a former student of RP and had committed the offences over a period of four months. As such, the Police, in consultation with the AGC, prosecuted him in court.
"The facts in that case are quite different."