Singapore Blogger Faces Child Pornography Charges After Settling in US

Amos Yee, who was jailed in Singapore, could be sent back to Southeast Asian country if convicted.
October 19, 2020, 10:59am
Singapore blogger Amos Yee
Singapore blogger Amos Yee (C), accompanied by his mother Mary Toh Ai Buay (2nd L) and father Alphonsus Yee (back L), walks out from the state court in Singapore on July 6, 2015. FILE PHOTO: MOHD FYROL / AFP

A Singaporean blogger granted asylum in the U.S. after angering his government with withering tirades about the country's late founding father now faces charges of child pornography and could be deported if convicted.

Amos Yee, 20, made global headlines five years ago when he was jailed after uploading posts on YouTube following the death of revered Singapore founder Lee Kuan Yew. He later faced charges for remarks deemed offensive towards Christians and Muslims.

Yee flew to the U.S city of Chicago in 2016 and was granted asylum there the following year.

Prosecutors now say he allegedly exchanged "thousands" of messages, including explicit images, with a 14-year-old girl in Texas while he was living in Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper reported.

Yee appeared in an Illinois courthouse on Friday, Oct. 16 where his bail was set at $1.36 million. If convicted, his asylum could be revoked and he could be deported back to Singapore.

An assistant public defender for Yee reportedly said the blogger was an "internet troll" whose online comments should not be taken seriously.

Yee has come under fire in the past for appearing to champion pedophilia on social media accounts, which were shut down.