NUS student filmed women in shower on campus

He pleads guilty, sentencing on Sept 28; he is currently under three-semester suspension

A National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate has admitted to taking voyeuristic videos, including those of women showering on campus last year.

Joel Rasis Ismail, 27, had done so despite knowing of the uproar caused by a similar incident in 2018, Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Ong told the court yesterday.

That incident involved Ms Monica Baey, who was filmed showering by a fellow NUS student.

Yesterday, Joel pleaded guilty to three charges of insulting a woman's modesty and one of criminal trespass.

Seven other similar charges will be taken into consideration during sentencing on Sept 28 by District Judge Adam Nakhoda.

The victims cannot be identified because of a gag order.

Court documents state that the NUS undergraduate was staying at student dormitory Raffles Hall when he committed the offences.

On two occasions in March last year, Joel went to the third level of the Kuok Foundation House - which is part of Raffles Hall - to visit a friend.

He went there despite knowing that it was a "females-only" floor barred to males, said the prosecutor.

Both times, he went to a toilet on the same level to relieve himself, and he heard a woman enter an adjacent cubicle each time.

On one occasion, he placed his mobile phone in the gap between the cubicle partition and toilet floor, and recorded the woman showering, court documents stated.


Joel Rasis Ismail pleaded guilty yesterday to three charges of insulting a woman’s modesty and one of criminal trespass. His lawyer is set to apply for a report on the likelihood of him reoffending. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Two months later, Joel struck again. He went to the female toilet on the sixth level - also zoned as a "females-only" floor - of the same building to film a schoolmate showering.

The court heard that when he found the video recording to be "unsuccessful", he took another video of the woman but was caught by her.

He then fled to the third level to collect his laundry and change his clothes before running back to his residence.

The police arrested him a few hours later, after reviewing closed-circuit television footage.

He later admitted to his offences.

 
 
 

Mr Ong said that Joel had committed the offences while knowing of the public disquiet caused by a similar incident in another residence hall in 2018.

That incident, which involved Ms Baey, led NUS to tighten security on its campus and review its disciplinary and support frameworks.

Court documents also state that Joel had recorded two upskirt videos of a colleague at work during an internship in 2016.

His lawyer Malcolm Tan said he would apply to the Institute of Mental Health for a report on the likelihood of his client reoffending.

For each count of insulting a woman's modesty, Joel could be jailed for up to a year and fined.

He could also be jailed for up to three months and/or fined up to $500 for criminal trespass.

In a statement yesterday, NUS said Joel is currently under a three-semester suspension and is not allowed on campus.

 
 

"NUS has enhanced the disciplinary framework for sexual misconduct offences since June 2019, including suspension and expulsion, as well as safety and security measures," it said.

The university said that it is providing greater support for victims of such offences. It has also introduced training for all staff and students to build a culture of respect.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2020, with the headline 'NUS student filmed women in shower on campus'. Print Edition | Subscribe