When a guy gets wrongfully accused of a sex crime, his life can be totally ruined - Alvinology

When a guy gets wrongfully accused of a sex crime, his life can be totally ruined

Recently, a guy has been accused of attempting to take an upskirt video of a female commuter on board a MRT train in Singapore. The accusation stemmed from an online video which captured the guy placing his phone on his gym bag and seemingly positioning it in a way as to record upskirt videos or photos.

The guy, Davide James Chua, 30, is a teacher at a primary school in Singapore and has since been suspended from duties while investigations are pending. It is not conclusive whether he had committed a sex crime or not, but his face and personal details have been exposed all over the internet to the public domain. He had since deactivated his Facebook account.

What if the guy is innocent?

Remember the pushing case at Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Hawker Centre earlier this year? An online vigilante, Ang Tock Seng went about fingering a Cherry Tan as the female culprit in the pushing incident. His accusation is baseless and he eventually got a taste of his own medicine with a CSI bounty placed on his head by other online vigilantes.

Trial by online mob is a scary thing, especially when the mob gets the wrong guy.

In the United States, there is the case of Paul Nungesser, an international student from Germany at Columbia University who was accused of sexual misconducts by three different female students in the school. After a university investigation, Nungesser was cleared of all charged.

However, Nungesser was said to be harassed and ostracised both in school and in public because of the attention brought to his case.

One of his accusers, Emma Sulkowicz, carried a mattress around campus in a performance art piece called “Carry that Weight” that drew worldwide attention. Suklowicz’s claim was that she was raped aggressively by a fellow student (Nungesser) in her dorm room, engaging in non-consensual, violent, anal sex and that her attacker was cleared in a school hearing. The mattress supposedly symbolised what she said was the university’s flawed handling of her complaint. She won multiple accolades for her performance piece and became somewhat of a feminist figure.

With Sulkowicz growing fame, Nungesser’s notoriety grew as the alleged rapist, both locally and globally, effectively ruining his life and reputation.

Note that Nungesser was cleared of all charges after investigations and was never charged with any crime. He went on to sue Columbia University in 2015 over its handling of the sexual assault allegations. The case was recently settled out of court. 

It remains to be known if David James Chua did indeed commit a sex crime. Regardless, his ‘punishment’ seems to be exceptionally harsh if you take into account the public shaming he had already suffered at the hands of online vigilantism.

One of Chua’s friends, who only wanted to be address as Ms. Naidu, spoke to us about Chua. She said: “This person has a gem of a heart and will never commit anything like this. He deserves justice and the Internet has to stop spreading fake news just to get attention while ruining an innocent person’s life.”

“I’m ready to battle this out to prove his innocence as a Friend and a Singapore Citizen for the justice of anyone for that matter in being falsely defamed and having their entire life ruined overnight by this social media sites. This is cyber bullying when you read the contents and information fellow netizens are putting out there of this innocent party when even in the video it shows no evidence of having an intention to film upskirt,” she added.

If he was cleared of all accusations, what’s next?

Would this incident cast a permanent stain on his reputation and career as a teacher, regardless if he did or did not commit the crime?

9 comments
  1. Would one generally hold on to the handle bars with their master hand or non master hand? I think that is something worth looking at in determining if it was a deliberate act of upskirt video taking or wrongful accusation. Or just take the phone and get a competent IT guy search for any videos/photo that may acquit or implicate him.

  2. Social media one sided shaming is unjust and greatly narrow. Great article and write up. At least we can hear something sensible and fair to this guy who might not be what is painted of him.

  3. What a shitpost this has turned out to be. Let’s not even bother discussing the utterly hideous quality of writing.

    The real question is whether or not there really was a need to assume such a misogynistic, male-oriented perspective in your article? All you’re doing is propagating the idea that the victim’s word should be weighed against the accused and considered under a series of what-ifs. Obviously the video doesn’t involve a victim coming forward, but in any case this is exactly the misogynistic perspective that you are propagating. There was absolutely no attempt whatsoever in your little write up to even consider the situation from the opposite (more specifically, female, since it seems that you comprehend situations through a great deal of misogyny) perspective. Are you suggesting that if a person is a victim of any form of assault or harassment, he or she should sit and wait while the accused walks free as the authorities ponder a series of what ifs?

    Granted, the video appears ambiguous and it truly is difficult to point out whether or not David was guilty. Yet, this is besides the point. While I do hope that the online mob action and baseless accusations will cease, what this issue has exposed is a blatant and disgusting misogyny that local Singaporean men seem love propagating. Is masculinity really so fragile that you are actually worried that your glorious reputation will be tarnished by an accusation by the opposite sex? The examples you have cited are laughable instances of this — the reason these offenders gained notoriety is not because of a single accusation but because of a variety of factors that already puts them in a bad light, regardless of whether or not the accusation was made. Do you really, really think that if one is a person of character with nothing to hide, one should be so dastardly petrified over an accusation? Furthermore, it scares me to think about the victim-blaming rhetoric you exhibit through this article.

    I mean, just look at the misogyny surrounding this sentence: “Regardless, his ‘punishment’ seems to be exceptionally harsh if you take into account the public shaming he had already suffered at the hands of online vigilantism.” Great, so now online shaming is now an “exceptionally harsh” punishment for a man who might have sexually harassed a woman. 10/10 would recommend you to stay away as far as possible from women.

  4. This is really a shit post, you ought to spin the story better. I stop reading at “What if the guy is innocent?”. Firstly, there is absolutely no reason to place his phone in that position with the camera faced-up; or unless you’re trying to tell me he doesn’t have pockets or even worse, he misplaced it and didn’t notice? The video clearly showed that he knows his phone is there at 1:29 and also notice how the girl changes her position, and somehow miraculously he did too and positioned the phone under her right after. Don’t tell me he forgot where he left his phone, it hasn’t even been a minute since he last looked at it.

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