Amos Yee, 23, has been sentenced to six years’ jail by a court in Illinois, United States, after he pleaded guilty to two charges of grooming and possessing child pornography.
According to The Straits Times, 16 other charges that Yee, 23, had been facing were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Yee was also ordered by the court to cease contact with the victim for two years after his release.
In October 2020, U.S. Marshals arrested Yee at his apartment in Chicago’s Norwood Park East neighbourhood.
He was accused of possessing child pornography and of grooming, and had allegedly exchanged nude photos with a 14-year-old Texas girl via WhatsApp.
According to CNA, the court heard on Dec. 3 that in February 2019, Yee had befriended the victim when he was 20, while he was living in Cook County.
ST elaborated that the two had met online over the Riot chat app, and thereafter began an “online courtship”.
Assistant State's Attorney Marcell Taylor shared that during this time, Yee had repeatedly requested for the victim to send him naked photos of herself, saying "Show me your naked body...".
He had also requested for the victim to engage in role play and sexual fantasies.
Yee did this, despite being informed by the victim that she was 14 at the time of offence.
CNA reported that this went on until July 2019.
"Thousands" of texts were reportedly exchanged.
May be deported back to Singapore
Appearing in court on Dec. 3 via video link, Yee was told by presiding Judge Carol Howard that he may be deported back to Singapore and denied entry into the U.S. in the future upon pleading guilty to the charges.
He might also have issues finding employment and even getting a driver's licence as a result of his conviction.
He responded to the judge that he understood the implications.
According to ST, Yee will still be able to appeal his sentence, but must file a motion within 30 days to withdraw his guilty plea before doing so.
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Top images via @grossmanyoung Twitter and Chicago police