Man jailed for secretly filming women in church toilets
Former church worker jailed for using pinhole camera to secretly film women in church toilets, then attempting to sell the videos online
He was first introduced to pinhole cameras in 2011.
Between May and June that year, Kenneth Yeo Jia Chuan struck with impunity at, of all places, a church where he had previously worked.
He filmed women in toilets by planting pinhole cameras in a handicapped toilet at the church and in the unisex toilet of the church's office at a shopping centre.
In June 2012, after he was caught, investigators found 66 video clips of women undressing or relieving themselves in the toilets.
Yeo's intrusive activities would have gone unnoticed had it not been for an undergraduate who recognised herself in a video clip Yeo had uploaded online.
The woman made a police report on June 28 that year.
Yesterday, Yeo, 30, was sentenced to 20 months' jail and fined $2,000 for insulting his victims' modesty, attempting to sell the video clips and possessing obscene films.
Aside from the 66 video clips, there were also two obscene videos found on his laptop.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Rajiv Rai pointed out that Yeo's offences were premeditated and "not conducted at the spur of a moment".
He said: "The accused scouted the handicapped toilet to find the perfect location to plant the camera.
"He chose to plant the camera mostly on Sundays, the 'Service day', when the church would be full of people."
Yeo, who was employed as the church's facility manager from 2008 to mid-2010, had surveyed the church toilets.
He had discreetly planted the pinhole cameras under the sink and below the air freshener inside the toilets.
DPP Rai reminded the court of the seriousness of Yeo's crimes. Among them were the difficulty in detecting the cameras and the high number of victims involved.
One of them, the undergraduate who had reported Yeo's activities to the police, had been tipped off on Facebook by an unknown person who recognised her in one of the online clips.
The victim made a police report and Yeo was arrested the next day.
Yeo, a first-time offender, also admitted to filming eight other unknown victims between May and June 2011.
In June 2012, Yeo, who was then $8,000 in debt, decided he could make some money selling his edited versions of the voyeuristic video clips. He intended to sell the clips for between $50 and $70 each. But he was arrested before he could sell his edited clips.
During the mitigation plea yesterday, Yeo's lawyer, Mr Mervyn Tan, said Yeo had a medical history that explained his errant behaviour. (See report at right.)
Mr Tan said: "The accused (Yeo) also apologises for his wrongs and promises that this will never be repeated."
Yeo requested a week's adjournment before starting his sentence on March 11.
He was granted bail of $20,000.
Due to his loneliness and his lack of girlfriends, Kenneth began to trawl through the Internet for sexual gratification.
- Senior consultant psychiatrist Brian Yeo
Psychiatrist: Images of strangers no longer satisfy him
He has been described as "personable but shy".
But Kenneth Yeo Jia Chuan's brush with the law exposed his voyeuristic tendencies and inability to control deviant impulses.
He suffers from paraphilia, as diagnosed by senior consultant psychiatrist Brian Yeo.
Court documents defined Yeo as having "a very strong urge to give in to his fetish for peeing or looking at secret images of women in the toilet".
Yeo, an only child, has had no contact with his biological father since the age of 12. He had been living with his mother and stepfather.
Around 2008, when Yeo was still employed by the Church of Singapore as a facility manager, he began to face some problems.
"Due to his loneliness and his lack of girlfriends, Kenneth began to trawl through the Internet for sexual gratification. He had been enamoured of voyeuristic sites, especially scenes of ladies in toilets," said Dr Yeo.
By the time Yeo was given a pinhole camera by a friend as a gift, he was no longer able to attain sexual satisfaction from just viewing online images of women in toilets.
This was also about the same time his trading card business was on the decline.
Dr Yeo said: "His sexual fetish rose to such a level that Kenneth felt he could attain sexual satisfaction only if these sexual images contained intimate scenes of women whom he knew or whom he had some contact with."
But Yeo did not approach the women he had filmed or try to blackmail them, added Dr Yeo.
Yeo has been receiving regular psychiatric counselling and medication.