A Singaporean man posted a photo on Facebook — which later went viral — of his estranged wife and her supervisor having sex, which he acquired without his wife's consent after he stole her phone from her.
On Tuesday (Sep. 21), the 27-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his wife's identity, pleaded guilty to one charge of theft and another of distributing an intimate image, reported CNA.
Stole wife's phone to look for evidence of affair
According to court documents seen by Mothership, on Feb. 6, 2020, the man arrived at his wife's home and asked to use the toilet.
The two of them were still married at the time, but he had moved out of the home two months prior, in December 2019.
His wife allowed him to enter the home to use the toilet of the master bedroom, while she sat in the master bedroom to use her phone.
Once the man finished using the toilet, he took his wife's phone from her and ran out of the house. His wife chased after him, but was unable to catch up with him.
As the man suspected that his estranged wife was having an affair, he looked through her phone for pictures and messages to confirm his suspicions.
He found several intimate images and videos — including two videos of his wife, and a photo of his wife and her supervisor having sex — which he used his own phone to record and photograph.
The man returned to his wife's home about 15 to 30 minutes later to return her phone to her.
He did not tell her that he possessed the intimate images and recordings of her.
Posted photos publicly on Facebook
About six days later, on Feb. 12, 2020 at around 8am, the man posted publicly on Facebook the intimate images that he had taken from his wife's phone, so that everyone could see them.
He claimed that he did so because he "did not want others to share the same fate as him".
The post included the photo of his wife and her supervisor having sex in which both of their faces were clearly visible, photos of the supervisor, and screenshots of text conversations between his wife and her supervisor, which he had also taken when he stole his wife's phone on Feb. 6.
The man called his wife's supervisor a "homewrecker", warning people to be aware of him. He also included the supervisor's name and occupation in the post.
About one hour later, the supervisor was informed of the post by a friend. The man's wife also received calls from her friends letting her know that her husband had published the Facebook post.
She was alarmed and felt humiliated. She did not consent to the distribution of the intimate images.
At around 12:44pm that day, the wife's supervisor lodged a police report at Jurong West Neighbourhood Police Centre.
Post went viral
The man's post went viral. By about 4pm the same day it was posted, it had garnered around 1,000 comments, 2,000 shares, and 3,000 likes.
The man then decided to remove the post because he did not expect that it would receive so much attention.
However, he proceeded to publish a new post on his Facebook profile which included the intimate image of his wife and her supervisor, this time blurring out his wife's face but keeping her breasts and her supervisor's face fully visible.
The man did this because he wanted the public to know what the supervisor did.
He only removed the post one day later.
Will return to court in October
According to CNA, the man will return to court in October for mitigation and sentencing.
In addition to the two charges he pleaded guilty to, two other charges will be taken into consideration in his sentencing: 1) possession of intimate images and recordings for recording and photographing his wife's intimate images and video without her permission, and 2) distributing an intimate image for posted the edited version of the intimate image with his wife's face blurred.
For the charge of theft, the man could be jailed up to seven years and fined, and up to five years' imprisonment, a fine, caning, or a combination of these punishments for intentionally distributing an intimate image of another person.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, amendments made to the Penal Code through the Criminal Law Reform Act (CLRA) criminalised, among other things, acts of voyeurism and the distribution of intimate images without consent.
This guide, created by two researchers at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at SUTD, details what steps you can take if someone shares your intimate images.
Top photo via Pexels / Pixabay.
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