'Additional discovery' reviewed as Amos Yee remanded by US court on child porn charges

'Additional discovery' reviewed as Amos Yee remanded by US court on child porn charges

Amos Yee
Singaporean man Amos Yee has been charged with child pornography and grooming offences in the US. (Photo: Cook County Sheriff's Office)

SINGAPORE: There has been an “additional discovery” in the case of Singaporean Amos Yee, who has been remanded in the US.

Yee, 22, appeared via Zoom before a Chicago court on early Saturday morning (May 8) Singapore time for a short status hearing. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and a surgical face mask, he did not speak and only nodded when addressed by the judge and lawyers.

In November last year, Yee pleaded not guilty to all charges related to his arrest for child pornography.

The public defender - a lawyer employed by the state in a criminal trial to represent a defendant who is unable to afford legal assistance - said he needed to visit Yee in remand to go over some matters with him.

“We did get an additional discovery that I was able to review and I need to go over that with Mr Yee. But I do believe we will likely have a disposition to this matter,” said lawyer Ali Ammoura, without specifying what the discovery was.

READ: Amos Yee pleads not guilty in US court to child pornography and grooming

Yee is set to come before the court again on Jun 2, when a disposition is expected. A disposition is a court’s final determination in a criminal charge.

Yee was granted asylum in the United States four years ago. 

He was arrested by US Marshals on Oct 14, 2020 at his apartment in Chicago’s Norwood Park East neighbourhood.

Police have charged him with child pornography and grooming, alleging that he exchanged nude photos with a 14-year-old Texas girl via WhatsApp.

The alleged incidents took place in 2019 between Feb 1 and Jun 30, and involved thousands of texts. When their relationship soured, the girl reached out to a group of people “interested in exposing paedophiles”, the court previously heard.

Yee has been in remand since his arrest, with a US$1 million bond. 

If found guilty, Yee could lose his asylum status and be deported back to Singapore.

READ: Amos Yee charged with child porn in the US: Report

This is not Yee’s first brush with the law.

In 2015, Yee was jailed in Singapore for wounding religious feelings by making remarks about Christians. About a year later, Yee was jailed again and fined on a similar charge, this time for making remarks about Christians and Muslims.

In 2017, Yee was granted asylum in the US by a US immigration court, despite opposition from the Department of Homeland Security.

Source: CNA/mi

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