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Amos Yee charged with child porn in the US after allegedly exchanging nude photos and messages with a 14-year-old girl

Amos is currently held on USD$1 million bail and banned from using the internet while he awaits trial.

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Singaporean Amos Yee has been charged with child porn in the United States on Friday (Oct 16).

The 20-year-old was found to have allegedly exchanged nude photos and “thousands” of messages with a 14-year-old Texas girl while he was living in Chicago, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times.

When Yee appeared at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Cook County prosecutors said that he has been living in Chicago for about three years.

Prosecutors say they obtained messages Yee exchanged between April and July 2019, that included nude photos he requested and received from the girl and nude photos of himself that he sent to the minor.

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Prosecutors also said that the girl repeatedly brought up her age in the messages.

Yee instructed the teenager in messages to remove her age from her profile on WhatsApp.

She reached out to a group “interested in exposing pedophiles” when their relationship eventually soured.

Homeland Security officials were notified and Yee was taken into custody on Thursday, Oct. 15 at his home, prosecutors said.

The Chicago Sun-Times also reported that during his bond hearing on Friday, Yee made several attempts to defend himself, claiming that he had information he could provide about his case.

Yee’s assistant public defender repeatedly warned him: “Do not open your mouth right now, Amos”.

“Just keep your mouth shut”, Yee was told.

Judge John F. Lyke Jr. said the charges Yee was facing were significantly more than an “online troll” who was “trying to get a rise out of someone”.

Yee was held on a US$1 million bail and banned from using the internet while he awaits trial.

Yee gained notoriety in the U.S. when he began posting to his now-removed YouTube channel advocating for paedophiles, and prosecutors said Yee also ran a pro-paedophile forum on a message board, the Chicago Sun-Times’ report said.

Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said in court that in a YouTube post last year, Yee addressed rumours of an inappropriate relationship with a young girl, in which Yee “argued that even if he did sexually abuse a 14-year-old, it does not change that there is nothing immoral about pedophilia”.

His assistant public defender described him as an “internet troll” who is “all over the internet saying fantastic things”, and said that any comments Yee made online should be taken with scepticism.

One of Amos Yee’s former supporters and the activist who campaigned for Yee to secure asylum in the United States has now turned against him. Melissa Chen, a human rights activist originally from Singapore, shared in a Facebook post that she had “been assisting in this manner for a year now, clandestinely”, to get Yee arrested.

“More than year ago, an individual from the community of “MAP hunters” (MAP = Minor-Attracted People) first flagged his alleged activity to me anonymously on Twitter. I took the allegations seriously, responded and verified the accusations. After speaking with the young victim, I was broken. I vowed to do all I could to get her justice and remove him from society. We took the case to the Department of Homeland Security who conducted thorough investigations and now it’s in the hands of the Chicago Police”, she wrote.

I'm pleased to announce that Amos Yee has been arrested yesterday by the Chicago Police Department on child porn…

Posted by Melissa Chen on Friday, 16 October 2020

She added that Yee is currently held on USD$1 million bail and banned from using the internet while he awaits trial.

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

Yee is expected back in court Nov 5.

TISG has reached out to Ms Chen for further comment. /TISG

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