Former student gets probation for voyeurism

Former student gets probation for voyeurism

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A former BCIT student who was caught peeping on men in a washroom

at the Burnaby campus will have a criminal record, but won’t spend any time in jail.

On Friday, a provincial court judge handed Chieh-Sen Yang a suspended sentence and two years probation for pleading guilty to two counts of voyeurism dating back to the fall of 2015.

According to an agreed statement of facts heard in court, on Oct. 22, 2015, the school received an anonymous report that a person was making recordings in the men’s washroom. An Asian man was caught on surveillance video, but he was never identified.

On Nov. 16, the school received another complaint that the same Asian man was recoding people in the stall of a men’s washroom. In this case, the suspect was still inside the bathroom and was eventually apprehended by police.

After he was arrested, Yang confessed to the making the recordings, telling police he also used his phone to take pictures at Richmond Centre mall.

When he was arrested, he was carrying a cellphone, tablet and mirror. On the phone were seven images taken on that day. It was noted in court, police didn’t find any other images.

During his confession, Yang told police he knew what he was doing was wrong, but did it for several reasons, including pressure from school, curiosity and the thrill involved. He compared carrying out the acts to a news reporter getting a scoop.

He also told police he only recorded men because recording women would be “wrong.”

The details of Yang’s psychiatric and sentencing report were also heard in court.

Judge H. Dhillon noted Yang, who no longer attends BCIT, had a difficult upbringing before moving to Canada from Taiwan and was estranged from his family. The report also suggested the 24-year-old was struggling with his sexual identity.

While Crown was asking for a suspended sentence, which would give Yang a criminal record, the defense was asking for a conditional discharge.

In handing down her sentence, Dhillon noted Yang had no criminal record and appeared motivated to get help. The judge also said she has “tremendous sympathy” for Yang, adding he is a very isolated young man with no support.

However, Dhillon also called the acts a “serious invasion of personal privacy.” She said a sentence in today’s day and age should send a message to the public that such an invasion will be condemned by criminal law.

As part of the sentence, Yang was ordered to attend sexual offender treatment programs and take any counselling directed by his probation officer. He’s also banned from BCIT and Richmond Centre and isn’t allowed to have any electronic devices in a public change room or bathroom.

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