SINGAPORE — A 20-year-old man accused of transmitting obscene materials via a Telegram chat group known as SG Nasi Lemak was sentenced to a 12-month probation term on Friday (16 October).
Deputy Public Prosecutor Bryan Wong told the court that Lee had been found suitable for probation and that the prosecution was not objecting to the community-based sentencing.
Justin Lee Han Shi is one of the four men charged over their activities in the chat group, which shared voyeuristic images of women either clothed or nude.
The other three men are Liong Tianwei, 38, Leonard Teo Min Xuan, 27, and an 18-year-old who cannot be named as he was 17 at the time of the offences.
Liong and Teo will return for further mentions of their cases on 23 and 21 October respectively, while the 18-year-old is expected to plead guilty on 21 October.
Liong and Teo are believed to be the administrators of the group, which had more than 44,000 members before it was shut down. The group was outed after users took to Twitter to express their disgust over the nature of the images.
Rehabilitative sentencing option
Probation is a rehabilitative sentencing option that is usually offered to offenders between the age of 16 and 21. The offender will not have a criminal record upon completing probation.
As part of his probation, Lee will have to remain indoors from 11pm to 6am and perform 40 hours of community service. His parents, who were in court, were also placed on a $5,000 bond to ensure Lee’s good behaviour during his term of probation.
Lee agreed to all the terms when asked by District Judge A Sangeetha. However, if he reoffends within his period of probation, he will be liable to prosecution for his current offence.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to possessing 462 obscene films in his mobile phone and laptop, while his charges of transmitting pornographic material to SG Nasi Lemak through Telegram, and possessing 556 obscene images on his electronic devices were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Residence raided on 14 October last year
According to court documents previously made available, Lee’s residence was raided on 14 October last year at about 11am, after the police received information about the Telegram group on 19 March last year. Officers seized several electronic devices: three mobile phones, a tablet and a laptop. .
A forensic examination found obscene video files from one of the mobile phones.
Lee admitted to being one of the members in SG Nasi Lemak and also confessed to downloading pornographic images and videos online for his personal consumption. He also forwarded some of the content to others in the SG Nasi Lemak group upon request.
For possessing any obscene film, a breach of the Films Act, an offender can be jailed up to six months and/or fined up to a maximum of $20,000.
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