SINGAPORE — A Republic Polytechnic student was upset that an acquaintance had not shown gratitude for his help with a university admission interview, so he tried to get the youth expelled by alleging inappropriate sexual conduct.
Nicholas Wu Yunxuan, now aged 19, did this by sending an email to the university secretary under someone else’s name, including intimate images he had obtained from the victim previously.
Wu pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Jan 23) to one charge of cheating by personation and one charge of intentionally distributing intimate images of another person.
He will return to court on March 5 for sentencing following the preparation of a probation and reformative training suitability report.
The victim and university cannot be named under a gag order to protect his identity.
The court heard that Wu was a year three biomedical student and was serving a year-long internship at the same university to which the victim had gained entry.
Wu’s defence counsel Richard Sam told the court that Wu has since been dismissed from the polytechnic because of the incident.
On April 7 last year, Wu met the victim through a dating application for men and continued their conversation on messaging application Telegram.
During their conversation, the victim sent Wu explicit photos and videos of himself which Wu saved without his knowledge.
The victim then introduced Wu to his friend, who was in a relationship with Wu for about one month.
While the two dated, Wu assisted the victim with his preparation for university admission interviews.
Not only did the victim secure a spot at the university, he was also awarded a scholarship.
THE FAKE EMAIL
Around June 7, 2023, Wu created a Gmail email account as he was unhappy with the victim for not being thankful to him for his help in the interview preparation.
The email address was made to look similar to the victim’s friend’s real email address because the university would then identify him as an incoming student, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Suriya Prakash.
Using the account, Wu sent an email to the university secretary with the subject “Urgent complaint regarding incident of sexual harassment by a school student”.
The email sought the expulsion of the victim and alleged that the victim perpetrated persistent sexual harassment and coercion against his friend.
This included subjecting the victim’s friend to unwelcome advances, explicit messages, unsolicited nude images and pressuring him to engage in sexual activities.
DPP Prakash said that Wu also represented himself as the victim’s friend because he wanted the university to conduct investigations and expel the victim.
To support his email claims, Wu attached the intimate images he had saved previously.
Investigations were conducted by the university into the allegations and the victim’s scholarship was terminated as a result of the probe although he remained as a student.
Court documents did not state whether the scholarship has subsequently been reinstated.
As there was real harm caused to the victim, DPP Prakash urged the court to call for a probation and reformative training suitability report.
“Rehabilitation continues to be a primary sentencing consideration here but the accused’s actions have caused a significant degree of harm to the victim, so there is some measure of deterrence that may need to be considered in this case,” said DPP Prakash.
Anyone guilty of cheating by personation could be jailed for up to five years or fined, or both.
Anyone guilty of intentionally distributing intimate images of another person could be jailed for up to five years, fined, or caned, or with any combination of these punishments.