Yet another case of a National University of Singapore (NUS) student insulting a woman’s modesty has hit the news. This time, 25-year old Ryan You Jun Chao was in Court on Wednesday (11 December) to face charges for breaking into the toilets and taking photos of two women. The offender faces two counts of trespassing and another two counts of insulting a woman’s modesty.
You told the court that he intends to plead guilty, and a date was fixed for him to do so on 20 Jan.
You faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a fine or both for insulting a woman’s modesty. For criminal trespass, he faces up to three months in jail and a maximum fine of S$1,500 or both.
The first incident occurred on 14 February at about 7.15 am this year, and the other on 5 March around 2.15 am. Both times, You went into a toilet and photographed the women.
An NUS spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia that the university penalised You for his actions including suspending him and deferring his graduation. He is also required to undergo mandatory counselling and rehabilitation sessions. These sanctions will be part of his educational record at the university.
This year has been a full year public debate about sexual misconduct and support and safety measures at university campuses which was sparked when NUS student Monica Baey posted on her Instagram about her frustration with the university and authorities over the fact that man who filmed her in the campus shower got away with just a one-semester suspension and 12-month conditional warning from the police. He was also made to write an apology letter to her. Ms Baey also highlighted the lack of support she received during the investigation period and in dealing with the aftermath of the traumatising incident.
Following debates, discussions, a statement of concern from NUS students and recommendations from a review committee on sexual misconduct in NUS, the university put in place tougher measures on dealing with sexual misconduct on campus and overhaul its support system for victims of sexual harassment. This was in June earlier this year.
The incidents with You, however, occurred before tougher sanctions were introduced at NUS, said the spokesperson, and before the Victim Care unit was set up.
However, the spokesperson added that “support and assistance were immediately offered to the victims as soon as we learned of the incidents.”
Apart from the suspension and mandatory counselling session, among others, You is also under a “no-contact” order, meaning he is not allowed to contact the victims in any form or manner. This is a measure implemented by NUS to protect victims.
“NUS does not condone nor tolerate any form of sexual misconduct on our campuses,” said the spokesperson.
As part of their new measures, the university has installed secure shower cubicles, restroom locks, additional CCTV cameras and roving security patrols in an effort to beef up security and safety measures on campus. On top of that, a module called “A Culture of Respect and Consent” has been introduced for staff and students in order to raised awareness on the issue.
You’s case follows a string of sexual misconduct cases involving NUS students including molestation, taking upskirt photos, photos and videos of women in the shower.
This includes Terence Siow Kai Yuan who was put on probation for molesting a woman in an MRT station, though the prosecution is appealing his sentence. Another is Joel Rasis Ismail who is accused of filming another student in the shower. This case is still pending. There are also cases of ITE and polytechnic students being sentenced for similar offences.