SINGAPORE: Concerns about whether minors should be allowed to attend meet-and-greet events with former radio jockey and YouTuber Dee Kosh have received traction online, given his past conviction and imprisonment.
The issue has drawn mixed opinions on online chatgroups, with some siding with the ex-influencer and others saying he should not be meeting minors.
Dee Kosh, whose real name is Darryl Ian Koshy, was convicted of inappropriate offences involving minors and was sentenced to 32 weeks in jail last August. He was released from jail in March 2023.
The conviction stemmed from allegations made in 2020 by a number of individuals who accused Koshy of inappropriate harassment under the guise of recruiting them for his channel. Six police reports were filed against the influencer.
Koshy initially denied all the allegations but later stated that “there is some truth to the things which are being said now” and apologised for his “questionable” tone while maintaining that he did not solicit inappropriate favours from teenage males.
In the days following the allegations, several companies cut ties with Koshy, who was later charged with “s*xual exploitation of a young person and making obscene films”. He pleaded guilty to the charges in May last year.
In their submissions, the prosecution sought a sentence of five to eight months’ jail, citing that Koshy’s crimes, which were mainly and deliberately targetting the underaged, were “highly premeditated” and he did not show true remorse despite the aggravating nature of his crimes. The defence, however, sought a lower jail term of two-and-a-half months on the basis that he had a low basis of re-offending and showed some regret for his actions.
It has been several months since Koshy was released after serving his sentence, but concerns over whether minors should be exposed to him have arisen after some online claimed that the former YouTuber held a recent meet-and-greet event at Seletar Mall.
The issue has divided Singaporeans online. Some have asserted that the ex-influencer should not be allowed to do so, while others have taken a more compassionate stance, pointing out that he has served his time and should be allowed to move on.
In a video posted earlier this year, Koshy spoke about the court case and stressed that he is not a paedophile. He said, “It’s a horrible, horrible, terrible thing to be labelled as a paedophile without being able to tell your story. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It’s something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. Google my name, and that’s the first thing that comes out.”
Asserting that the psychiatrist found that there were no signs of paedophilic disorder and that he had a very low risk of re-offending, Koshy shared that he has since become wary of being with young people and even avoided taking the same lift that a teenager was getting on.
“It’s not that I’m attracted to the kids. It’s just that I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable,” he said, “After three years and going to jail, I feel like I’ve paid my penance to society. I’ve done my time. I’ve paid the price more than what an average person would have to pay the price for.”
Getting emotional, he added, “I don’t know where the end of the tunnel is. But I’d like to believe there is one. I will just have to keep running. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the light cannot even be seen, but just keep running.”