Victim Monica Baey & perpetrator Nicholas Lim give differing accounts of what happened

How can this be settled?

Belmont Lay | April 26, 2019, 12:16 PM

Even as plenty of words have been written about the high-profile National University of Singapore voyeurism case, it appears the public is nowhere closer to the truth about what had exactly happened.

At this moment, it is still a matter of she-said-he-said.

Perpetrator's account

This was after The Straits Times ran an interview with 23-year-old NUS chemical engineering undergraduate Nicholas Lim, the perpetrator at the centre of the saga.

In his recounting of what happened that night in November 2018, Lim said he took a video recording of the victim Monica Baey showering in Eusoff Hall hostel out of a moment of opportunism.

According to ST, "Lim insisted he does not know what came over him that night".

The only detail provided about what happened prior to the incident was that Lim had gone out to celebrate the end of season with his club touch rugby mates -- a suggestion he was intoxicated but conscious of his own decisions.

Lim said he had then planned to sleep over in his girlfriend's hostel room after he was sent back to Eusoff Hall by his friend.

It was when he was walking to the male toilet to take a shower, he heard someone in the shower in the female toilet and decided to act.

Lim told ST, insisting he did not know what came over him and he was not targeting any female student in particular: "The thought came and I did what I did. It was a hasty decision. I didn't know who was inside. I wasn't dead drunk."

The confession

Moreover, in his retelling, Lim said he immediately confessed to the act of taking a video of someone in the shower to his girlfriend, a fellow undergrad.

The girlfriend had at that point been alerted on her phone by a message saying there was a Peeping Tom on the university campus.

Together, Lim and his girlfriend then went to meet the victim Baey so he could own up and apologise.

"I wanted to confess it was me," Lim told ST.

He also said he did so not because it was done out of fear that he would be caught as a result of his image being captured by surveillance cameras.

Lim said: "I did something wrong. I wasn't planning to hide from it, to run."

Victim's account

However, Lim's recounting of events does not square with the victim's account.

According to Baey, who apparently had viewed security camera footage of what happened, she said it allegedly showed Lim searching different cubicles in an entirely different block for someone to film.

This is a suggestion that Lim did not just happen to encounter a random person in the female toilet at that time.

This was mentioned by Baey the very first time she went public with her story on Thursday, April 18 -- which gained massive traction on Good Friday the next day and persisted over the Easter weekend.

Baey had at that time called into question just how much or little agency Lim really had over his actions.

Lim allegedly told Baey during the confession that this was his first time doing anything like this, adding that he had been tempted to try it because of the voyeurism genre of pornography he consumed.

Victim's mother's account

Baey's mother, Mary Baey, also reiterated this claim that Lim had been searching for a victim.

The victim's mother had previously written in a lengthy Facebook comment supporting her daughter taking a stand publicly, about Lim's actions:

On NUS CCTV, the perpetrator was seen going from toilet to toilet to look for his victim, this is a person who knows exactly what he is doing, and the actual video is found on his hand phone.

What can the public take away?

With the NUS management grilled by students during a town hall meeting for urgent answers but with little to show for, it appears there are still many unanswered questions.

This is especially so with regards to what happened that night the act of voyeurism was committed.