2020-06-22 11:37:27

When Larri went on a Tinder date last month, she didn’t expect to later stumble upon a YouTube video of herself lying naked in bed.

The video was one of several allegedly recorded by a Shenzhen-based Brazilian man who secretly filmed his dates with Chinese and foreign women and then posted scenes from them online.

In early June, when an article about the man started circulating among China’s expat community, Larri — a foreign national who asked to be identified with part of her surname to protect her privacy — said he was the same man she’d been on a date with the previous month after meeting him on Tinder.

“I was browsing through the article, and when I saw his face, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s the guy that’s been coming to my home,’” Larri told Sixth Tone. “He videoed my apartment, he videoed my room number, and this put me at risk. Then he videoed my body and actually put one of my pictures in his video so everyone can see who it is.”

In a video Larri shared with Sixth Tone, she is seen lying naked on a bed, though her private parts aren’t clearly visible. Included in the video is a link to the Instagram profile @JUBERAX — the same name as the YouTube channel where it was first posted.

A screenshot from the Brazilian man’s now-deleted YouTube channel.

A screenshot from the Brazilian man’s now-deleted YouTube channel.

When contacted by Sixth Tone, the Brazilian man denied the allegations. “They were inventing lies about me,” said the man, who claims to have lived in China since 2005. “Those were not intimate videos, those were daily vlogs.”

When Sixth Tone sent him footage provided by Larri, the man said he “didn’t do the video.” He admitted, however, that the Instagram account featured in the video belonged to him, saying “someone else did that against me,” without elaborating.

On Monday, @JUBERAX returned no profile results on Instagram — only a hashtag appearing in posts urging women who’ve fallen prey to the man to come forward. Many of the hashtagged posts include a photo of the man, along with a screenshot of his Tinder profile, where he identifies himself as Wellington, age 37.

Edvan Fleury, a Brazilian man who works as a translator in China, told Sixth Tone that he had watched the videos allegedly posted by the man and then alerted the ExpatRights account on social app WeChat, which published an article on June 4. According to Fleury, the YouTube channel with nearly 10,000 subscribers would often publish secretly filmed videos of women, showing their faces and bodies. “And after sex, he described in detail what they did,” Fleury said.

If there are no sexual scenes involved (in his videos), it’s hard to charge him for criminal responsibility.

A day after the ExpatRights article was published, Fleury posted a video from the accused’s YouTube channel on his own Instagram account. In it, the man denies any wrongdoing, saying he had filmed the encounters to share his daily life with his social media followers, and that one of the women had reported him after he would not commit to an exclusive relationship.

However, the women who have come forward to share their experiences with the man aren’t buying his plea of innocence.

A second woman who asked to be identified as Alice said she was also among the women featured in videos shared by the accused. She told Sixth Tone that the man had secretly recorded their conversation at a coffee shop, as well as intimate activities at her house later, before sharing this content online without her consent.

Both Larri and Alice said they separately went to report the matter to the Shenzhen police, though their complaints were not officially registered. However, the police called the accused and asked him to delete the videos, according to Larri.

The two women also said they contacted their respective embassies but were told they wouldn’t get help with any legal proceedings against the man. The embassies directed them to go to the police instead, the women said.

“All police, official foreigner department, embassy, some Chinese friends who were helping me — all of them said the same and more: ‘If you want to do something, try in your country,’” Alice told Sixth Tone. “It’s unfair, it’s a kind of protection for him because nothing happened to him.”

Larri and Alice, who were connected by a mutual friend, along with another foreigner, are now trying to find more women. In particular, they’re trying to track down Chinese victims who are less likely to visit YouTube, which is largely inaccessible in China, or read the English-language articles exposing the Brazilian man’s alleged voyeurism.

Gong Chu, a lawyer at Shenzhen-based DeHeng Law Offices, told Sixth Tone it’s difficult for victims like Larri and Alice to seek criminal prosecution against such individuals unless the videos include pornographic content. Pornography is illegal in China, and profiting from such content can result in punishments ranging from up to three years in prison to, in severe cases, life.

Non-consensual voyeurism, however, is not a criminal offense in China. Under the country’s administrative punishments law, those who secretly photograph or film others can only face 10 days’ administrative detention and a maximum fine of 500 yuan ($70).

“If there are no sexual scenes involved (in his videos), it’s hard to charge him for criminal responsibility,” Gong said. “The victims should seek civil recourse instead.”

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Headere image: Cultura/People Visual)