SINGAPORE, Nov 10 — He first pretended to be a young girl on Facebook to gain the trust of his victims, before “introducing” them to an old woman who could sense evil spirits or bad auras. The woman was just a second online persona he used to trick his victims.
Lee Wei Ming then asked the victims, who were young girls, to send him nude photographs and videos of themselves by claiming that the old woman could use the images to “exorcise or dispel” the spirits and auras.
He had amassed almost 2,000 obscene video clips before he was arrested in 2019.
Yesterday, the 34-year-old Singaporean was jailed for five months. He pleaded guilty to three charges under the Films Act of knowingly possessing obscene videos.
One other similar charge was taken into consideration for sentencing.
His three victims, who were based in Taiwan, were aged 11 and 12. They cannot be named due to a court order to protect their identities.
The court heard that the Singapore Police Force received information from the Taiwanese police in June 2019 of a case of child exploitation. The Taiwanese police had conducted screenings, which revealed that the IP (internet protocol) address of the perpetrator was in Singapore.
Singapore police officers then traced it to Lee’s residential address in Bukit Timah. They arrested him there on Oct 24 in 2019 and seized several computer, mobile and storage devices.
The devices were found to contain 3,196 video files in total, of which 1,903 were obscene. At least 11 of these files were of the victims, with the remaining 1,892 files being of undetermined origin.
When Lee was questioned, he admitted to creating fictitious personas on Facebook and targeting young girls through them.
After posing as an old woman who could sense evil spirits or bad auras, he asked the victims to send photos and videos of themselves naked and performing different actions, such as getting undressed, taking a shower and displaying their private parts.
Through the persona of the old woman, Lee told them that the videos would be deleted immediately after he viewed them.
When the victims initially refused, he went back to the young girl persona and either pestered them to send the videos or threatened them with bodily harm.
Lee used the obscene material for his own sexual gratification.
Feeling like they had been lied to and taken advantage of, the victims lodged reports with the Taiwanese police.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lim sought at least six months’ jail, noting that Lee had been diagnosed with paedophilic disorder in the Institute of Mental Health. However, there was no evidence that he could not control his actions due to the disorder.
Lee had essentially been caught red-handed, showed a high degree of premeditation and used the internet to prey on young and vulnerable victims, the prosecutor added.
Those convicted of knowingly possessing obscene films can be jailed for up to 12 months or fined up to S$40,000, or punished with both. — TODAY