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NTU researcher charged with possessing child abuse material, offering money for sex with 12-year-old girls

NTU researcher charged with possessing child abuse material, offering money for sex with 12-year-old girls

Dr Jason Scott Herrin. (Photo: NTU.edu.sg)

SINGAPORE: A researcher at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has been accused of possessing child abuse material and sending text messages to offer 12-year-old girls money to have sex with him.

Jason Scott Herrin, 47, was handed four charges in a district court on Tuesday (Jan 25). 

These are for possessing 90 photographs containing child abuse material, possessing 31 obscene video files and two counts of communicating with another person to obtain sexual services of a minor.

Herrin, who is American, is accused of sending a message to another person on Nov 14, 2019, telling that person to offer 12-year-old girls four million rupiah (S$374) to have sex with Herrin.

On Feb 18, 2020, he allegedly sent a message to a person with a different handphone number, asking them to "find a kid" for Herrin "for a high price, with the intention of procuring sexual services" from the child, charge sheets state.

Herrin is also accused of possessing the obscene films and photos at a unit in a condominium in Chestnut Avenue on Aug 17, 2020.

He was offered bail of S$20,000 and is set to return to court in February.

If convicted of communicating with another person to obtain sexual services of a minor, Herrin can be jailed up to two years, fined, or both per charge.

If found guilty of possessing obscene films, he can be jailed up to six months, fined between S$500 and S$20,000, or both.

A spokesperson from NTU told CNA after the court mention that Herrin has been suspended and barred from going to campus pending the outcome of court proceedings.

"All members of the University community are expected to uphold the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct and to abide by the law at all times," he said.

"The University will undertake internal disciplinary action after sentencing by the court, in accordance with our policies and procedures. It would be inappropriate to comment further while the case is before the court."

Source: CNA/ll(ac)

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