On Nov. 25, 2018, at around 1:20am, National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate Monica Baey was taking a shower at Eusoff Hall.
Unbeknownst to her, someone else was there as well, taking video footage of her showering.
Baey told Mothership that she only noticed the iPhone sticking out from underneath the cubicle when she turned around to grab her towel.
She then, understandably, exclaimed a vulgarity.
The iPhonographer, spooked by this, took off immediately.
Baey said she eventually, after going through the relevant hierarchy, contacted campus security.
Perpetrator and his girlfriend were both friends of victim
Here's the kicker though.
It turns out the man who filmed her, who has the surname Lim, was actually a friend of Baey's.
Baey additionally was a friend of Lim's girlfriend, also a Eusoff Hall resident.
Baey said she assumed this relationship all three of them had was what might have led to Lim freaking out -- and approaching his girlfriend to try and defuse the situation with Baey.
The two of them asked Baey to meet them, and proceeded to explain to her what had happened.
Drop the case
Baey claimed they tried to get her to drop the case, and that Lim apologised profusely.
Lim claimed he was heavily intoxicated that night, but Baey calls that assertion, especially the degree of his intoxication, into question.
According to Baey, security camera footage allegedly showed Lim searching different cubicles in an entirely different block for someone to film.
Which to her, called into question just how much, or little, agency he really had.
Lim allegedly told Baey that this was his first time doing anything like this, adding that he had been tempted to try it because of the genre of pornography he consumed (voyeurism).
Two-month police investigation, then a warning
Baey said she went to the police with her case after dealing with campus security.
The entire investigation by both authorities took around two months, according to her.
And it would end with Lim being slapped with a 12-month conditional stern warning.
A conditional stern warning is a warning that has a term attached to it, which means if you commit the same crime during this period (in this case a year), you will be charged not only with your second offence, but with the original crime as well.
According to this Straits Times article, the warning cannot be factored in for sentencing of other crimes.
Baey said she was unhappy with the outcome of the investigations, but her investigating officer apparently told her to take it up with NUS if she wanted more action to be taken.
Here's what NUS did
According to Baey, here are the punishments NUS slapped on Lim.
- Made him write a compulsory apology letter.
- Mandatory counselling.
- Not allowed in the dorms anymore.
- Gave him a one-semester suspension.
Here are some issues Baey had with the punishment meted out, which she shared with us.
- Not really much to comment about this, you can read her thoughts on the apology letter later.
- She wanted to know how extensive the counselling would be, and if what he said about his proclivity towards voyeurism was true, how effective it would be in stopping him from doing the same thing in the future.
- Lim didn't himself stay in any of the campus halls — he had gone there to visit his girlfriend, and had sometimes stayed over, but he wasn't actually living in the dorms, so there weren't any real inconveniences caused to him in this case.
- Baey claims Lim promptly used the suspension as an internship semester of sorts and found a job for that period. He could also hang around school and visit campus, as the only stipulation was that he wasn't allowed to attend classes.
After the punishment was decided and relayed to her, Baey said she contacted the relevant personnel, twice, to ask if that was it.
They told her it was.
Apologies aren't enough
Here is the apology letter.
The "Yup, I feel so much better, thank you" is Baey's own writing.
Baey also posted a scathing critique on what she felt was an inadequate response by NUS.
At the end of the day, Baey gave a succinct summary as to what she expects to achieve from speaking out.
Her point is that if an example isn't made, or if warnings are the only things consistently given, then no progress will be made in stopping the next perpetrator, for they too would expect no more than a warning.
We have reached out to the police and NUS for more information about the case, and will update this article when they get back to us.
Image from Baey's Instagram