Feb 20 2018

Singaporean Artist Sentenced To Jail For Stalking A Woman

by Julee WJ Chung

Singaporean multimedia artist CHUN KAI QUN has been sentenced to six months in prison for stalking and harassing a 29-year-old woman. Image via the National Arts Council, Singapore. 

On February 6, Singaporean multimedia artist Chun Kai Qun was sentenced to six months in jail for harassing a 29-year-old woman. Chun pleaded guilty to the count of unlawful stalking that happened between November 3 and December 2 in 2016. A similar offence involving the same woman in 2017 was taken into account for his six-month jail sentence.

Chun began to romantically pursue the woman shortly after the two met in 2015 and became friends. After he was turned down multiple times by her, however, the artist began to stalk the woman, following her up to four times a month as she traveled from workplace to home. Chun also sent his target up to 17 emails a day, loaded with insults, threats and sexually explicit content. His emails included messages such as: “I think proximity hurts and it’s fun and damn psycho to keep writing. A little weird erotic in a way” and “I see your soul. I don’t see anything else. I am attracted to it like a science experiment reaction.” Chun attached trackers to the messages so that he would be notified when they were opened. To bypass the woman’s email spam filter, he created 12 different email accounts. The stalking and verbal abuse continued over a period of 12 months.

In an attempt to impair the woman’s career, Chun also sent messages to her colleagues with fictitious claims intended to damage her reputation. He then wrote posts on her employer’s social media platform that mocked the company’s staff members.

In fear for her safety and of losing her job, the woman filed a magistrate’s complaint in July, 2016. Three months later, the two parties reached a settlement agreement and Chun agreed to cease all contact. In November, however, Chun broke the settlement conditions and resumed his harassment, sending the same victim some 64 emails over four weeks, several of which revealed that he had no intention of stopping. The woman immediately forwarded these emails to the police, providing ample evidence for the court case in February 2018. 

Chun’s lawyer Sunil Sudheesan had sought a three-month sentence for the artist, who was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, saying that his emails were a “misguided attempt at managing [his] tensions.” The prosecution argued for a jail term of six-months, stating that Chun had used the woman as a target to relieve his psychological stress and anxiety, and willfully threatened her safety with his unwanted obsessive behavior without any regard for her wellbeing. Chun’s sentence has been deferred to March 12.

Julee WJ Chung is the assistant editor of ArtAsiaPacific.

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