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SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man who was studying at a university in the United Kingdom was on Wednesday (Jun 22) jailed for a year and fined S$2,500 for taking illicit videos of women, some of which he filmed during gatherings hosted at his home.

Colin Chua Yi Jin, 24, pleaded guilty in July last year to seven charges of insulting the modesty of women and an eighth charge of possessing obscene films. Eight more charges for insult of modesty were considered for sentencing.

In a departure from usual cases involving sex offences, Chua was named after 11 of his victims stepped forward to push for the gag order on his identity to be lifted. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon ordered that Chua be named in September last year.

Gag orders are usually applied to protect the identities of victims of sex offences. When the accused person is linked to the victims, the gag order can also extend to their identity although the intent is purely to protect the victims.

The names of Chua’s victims as well as how they are related to him and the schools they attended remain under the modified gag order and cannot be published.


Chua filmed upskirt videos and videos of victims in the shower from 2014 to 2015 when he was in junior college in Singapore, from 2016 to 2018 when he was a full-time national serviceman, and from October 2018 when he was studying at a UK university.

He would host gatherings for friends at his home and invite victims there but leave a recording device in his toilet to film them.

Some of the videos wound up on pornography sites and were viewed thousands of times.

Chua estimated the total number of voyeuristic videos he filmed to be “maybe three digit”. He said he committed the offences when he felt stressed due to school or work, and felt that filming the victims “was an addiction” to him.

In one instance, he filmed a 14-minute video of a 18-year-old victim showering. Chua had invited her and other classmates to share a hotel room after prom night in December 2015.

The nude video was posted online, and the principal of the girl’s school informed her of the video in early 2016.

It was still circulating as of August 2020 and had been viewed at least 177,000 times. In a victim impact statement, the victim said she had received messages from friends and strangers about the video.

She said she felt embarrassed, betrayed and weary of male friends.

As a result of the experience, she had turned down social activities out of fear that she would have to use a public toilet. She also struggled with self-esteem issues and felt “very unworthy”.

Another victim was 19 when Chua invited her and other schoolmates to a Christmas gathering at his residence in 2016. He filmed an almost minute-long video of her relieving herself in the toilet.

Almost two years later, the victim received an Instagram message from an unknown person containing screenshots of the video and asking if it was her.

The victim searched the Internet and found the video on a pornography website. It had been viewed at least 38,000 times on Aug 17, 2020.

The woman said she felt “betrayed and shocked at the fact that such a horrible thing was done by a friend” and felt a “compulsive need to check if there are any recording devices” when visiting a toilet.

Between early 2016 to June 2019, the police received several reports alleging that two obscene videos featuring the complainants or their friends had been circulating online.

Following investigations, Chua’s home was raided on Jul 3, 2019 and seven of his personal devices were seized. Forensic analysis uncovered 16 offending videos and 124 upskirt photos in the devices.

Of the two videos circulating online and 16 videos found in the devices, 14 of them were filmed in Chua’s home.


Deputy Public Prosecutors Tan Zhi Hao and Ng Shao Yan sought at least 13 months’ jail and a S$3,500 fine, saying that Chua was a serial offender who leveraged on his friendships to film voyeuristic videos.

The prosecutors described Chua’s offences as “one of the most premeditated cases of voyeurism to come before the courts”, arguing that he schemed to lure the victims and create the conditions to commit the offences.

They highlighted the long-term harm and trauma caused to multiple victims, who described emotions of shock, betrayal and paranoia. Some victims also described feeling guilt for introducing their friends to Chua and potentially exposing them to his misconduct.

“His offences have caused the victims prolonged psychological trauma, and they continue to grapple with the consequences of the accused’s conduct even to this day,” they said.

The prosecutors argued that Chua lacked remorse, was uncooperative during investigations and gave “contrived and incredulous responses” to the police, including claiming not to recognise his own toilet and his friends.

“After charges were preferred, he first sought to abscond from Singapore and later commenced a ‘wholly self-serving’ criminal motion against this court’s decision to lift the gag order against his identity,” they said, quoting the Chief Justice’s decision.

The prosecutors also said that there were potentially many more unidentified victims given Chua’s admission of filming “maybe three digit” worth of videos.


Defence lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan asked for nine months’ jail, arguing that his client was continuing regular visits to a psychologist for treatment and had also subscribed to an Internet content filter.

“He is deeply apologetic for the hurt that he has caused to his victims. He is sorry for what he has done, he has learnt his lesson,” said the lawyer, adding that Chua “knows that he has a problem and he wishes to deal with it”.

Mr Murugaiyan added that Chua has “a good future ahead of him” and “an interest to further his studies”, with the potential to contribute to society.

He highlighted Chua’s “troubled childhood”, noting that his parents divorced when he was 10 years old and that there was a family history of mental health issues.

Mr Murugaiyan argued that there was no evidence that Chua had uploaded the voyeuristic videos, but Mr Tan countered that Chua’s filming of those videos was still a “necessary step” to the harm suffered by the victims as a result of them being online.

The prosecutors also took issue with Chua’s attempts at rehabilitation being a mitigating factor, arguing that he had sought treatment with psychologists only to address his mood and not the root causes of his offending.

“It is our hope as well that given his young age, the accused can become a better person and reform himself. But that is not going to happen if he doesn’t realise the error of his ways, properly appreciate the consequences of his conduct and show that he is genuinely remorseful,” said Mr Tan.

District Judge Tan Jen Tse said the sentence struck a balance between Chua’s relative youth and the severity of his offences, and said he would give more weight to Chua’s apparent remorse and attempts at rehabilitation than the prosecution.

The punishment for insulting the modesty of a woman is jail for up to one year, a fine or both.

Possession of obscene films is punishable with a fine of at least $500 for each film up to an aggregate of S$20,000, jail for up to six months or both.