Controversial left-wing YouTuber Amos Yee has been arrested and charged with pedophilia-related offenses after the controversial internet personality allegedly formed an internet relationship with a 14-year-old girl while seeking asylum in the U.S. after he left Singapore following legal encounters over his stance on Islam.
Yee was first detained in 2015 after making “controversial and obscene online posts” attacking the former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. He was later arrested for “wounding religious feelings” after his online comments on Islam and Christianity.
Yee, 20, was outspokenly pro-pedophilia on his now-deleted YouTube channel and even started a pro-pedophilia message board, but steadfastly dismissed critiques by claiming his position on the taboo sexual preference was merely “trolling.”
The young man rose to prominence a few years ago, even landing an interview on the popular pro-free speech show The Rubin Report allowing the then-minor a platform to tell his story to an online audience.
Granted asylum in the U.S. after leaving Singapore in late 2016, Yee lived in Chicago for the past three years.
Prosecutors obtained incriminating files from communications between Yee and an unnamed 14-year-old girl between April and July last year.
Although the anonymous girl repeatedly stated her age to Yee, the pair exchanged nude photos upon Yee’s request.
Yee also allegedly demanded the girl remove her age from her WhatsApp profile.
When the short-lived relationship ended, the girl forwarded the explicit messages to a group “interested in exposing paedophiles.”
Homeland Security was later notified and Yee was picked up on October 15.
Yee appeared at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse Friday for solicitation and possession of child porn charges, according to The Chicago Sun Times.
As part of Yee’s defense, his attorney claimed that Yee’s actions were out of trolling and implied that he was not acting seriously.
When Yee tried to state his case and claimed that he had additional information, his attorney ordered him to remain silent.
“Do not open your mouth right now, Amos,” Yee’s attorney said. “Just keep your mouth shut.”
Judge John F. Lyke Jr. remained unmoved over Yee’s status as a notorious internet “troll”, and found that the charges were a lot more than the actions of an “online troll” who was “trying to get a rise out of someone.”
Judge Lyke ordered for Yee to be placed on $1 million bail and banned him from using the internet until his trial.
If Yee is convicted, he could be returned to Singapore.