Amos Yee 'demands trial' after being indicted of possessing child porn in US: reports

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Amos Yee mugshot. (PHOTO: Chicago Police/Screenshot)
Amos Yee mugshot. (PHOTO: Chicago Police/Screenshot)

SINGAPORE — Controversial Singaporean blogger Amos Yee, who was charged in the United States in October for solicitation and possession of child porn, was indicted by a grand jury in an Illinois court on Wednesday (4 November).

The Straits Times reported that the 20-year-old will next appear in court on 18 November for an arraignment – a court proceeding where he will be formally advised of the charges against him, and asked to enter a plea to these charges.

Judge Charles Beach at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago has said that the “defendant demands trial”, according to a CNA report. Yee’s bail was set at US$1 million (S$1.36 million) and he was banned from using the internet while awaiting trial.

Yee has been living in Chicago since being granted asylum in the US in 2017. He was jailed in 2015 in Singapore for controversial and obscene online posts he made following the death of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, and again in 2016 for “wounding religious feelings” over his social media posts on Christianity and Islam.

Allegedly exchanged nude photos with 14-year-old girl

According to The Straits Times, the Illinois court heard during Yee's bail hearing on 16 October that he allegedly exchanged nude photos and thousands of messages with a 14-year-old Texan girl between April and July last year.

Prosecutors said they obtained messages Yee exchanged with the girl, who repeatedly brought up her age. Yee had also instructed the teenager to remove her age from her profile on WhatsApp in the messages.

When their relationship eventually soured and the girl reached out to a group “interested in exposing pedophiles”, Homeland Security officials were notified, prosecutors said. Yee was arrested at his apartment in Chicago’s Norwood Park East neighbourhood on 14 October.

Yee has courted controversy even after being grant asylum in the US, as he advocated for pedophiles on his now-removed YouTube channel, and ran a pro-pedophile forum on a message board, prosectors said during the bail hearing.

If convicted, his asylum status could be terminated.

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Amos Yee charged in US court for solicitation and possession of child porn