Amos Yee charged with child porn in the US: Report

Amos Yee charged with child porn in the US: Report

Amos Yee file photo
File photo of Amos Yee. (Photo: Reuters/Chris Kenning)

SINGAPORE: Singaporean Amos Yee, who was granted asylum in the United States three years ago, has been charged with solicitation and possession of child porn in the US, according to the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

Yee - who was jailed in Singapore in 2015 and 2016 for hate speech against both Christians and Muslims - allegedly exchanged nude photographs and “thousands” of messages with a 14-year-old Texas girl while living in Chicago, the newspaper wrote on Friday (Oct 16).

If convicted, Yee’s asylum status could be revoked.

Yee, 20, appeared at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse for a bond hearing on Friday, the newspaper said.

The Chicago Sun-Times cited Cook County prosecutors as saying that the messages Yee exchanged with the girl between April and July last year included nude photos he had requested from her. He had also sent nude photos of himself to the girl, said the newspaper.

The prosecutors were cited as saying that the girl had repeatedly told Yee how old she was in their messages. Yee had also allegedly instructed her to remove her age from her profile on WhatsApp, the messaging service they used to communicate, the prosecutors said.

After their relationship soured, the girl reached out to a group “interested in exposing pedophiles" and Homeland Security officials were notified, the report cited the prosecutors as saying.

CNA has not been able to independently access the court documents.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Yee tried to defend himself several times during the bond hearing, but was told by the assistant public defender to "keep your mouth shut".

Yee's assistant public defender was also reported to have described him as an “Internet troll” who is “all over the Internet saying fantastic things".

The judge ordered that Yee be held on US$1 million bail and banned from using the Internet while he awaits trial, the newspaper said. Yee is expected back in court Nov 5.

In 2015, Yee was jailed four weeks in Singapore for hate speech against Christians, as well as for publishing an obscene image. The next year, Yee was jailed six weeks and fined S$2,000, this time for hate speech against Muslims and Christians.

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

Source: CNA/aj

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