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Probation report called for man, 23, who downloaded child sexual abuse material

SINGAPORE — A 23-year-old man pleaded guilty on Monday (Aug 1) to accessing child abuse material through the dark web and downloading multiple photographs of children engaged in sexual activity with adults.

Probation report called for man, 23, who downloaded child sexual abuse material
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SINGAPORE — A 23-year-old man pleaded guilty on Monday (Aug 1) to accessing child abuse material through the dark web and downloading multiple photographs of children engaged in sexual activity with adults.

Jerome Lee Qi Long began doing this about two years ago when he was aged 21.

A district judge called for a report to assess his suitability for probation, which is usually offered to first-time offenders aged between 16 and 21.

The prosecution did not object to this but reserved its position on the appropriate sentence pending the report.

Probation does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences. 

The court heard that Lee began developing a curiosity for child abuse material in 2020. He used his laptop and mobile phone to search for such material online but was unsuccessful, so he turned to the Tor browser to access the dark web.

Between April 2020 and July 2021, he downloaded at least 50 photos depicting child abuse material.

The authorities found these in his Samsung Galaxy S8 mobile phone. At least six photos showed a child apparently engaged in a sexual act with an unknown male.

The court further heard that on Oct 7, 2020, he accessed a specific site on the dark web that offered child abuse material in exchange for Bitcoin payment.

Lee made a payment of 0.0021 Bitcoin — valued at about US$22.70 — to gain access rights to the website but was unable to enter.

He was arrested on Dec 1 last year after police officers raided his unit. They seized his mobile phone and Asus laptop.

Court documents did not reveal how his offences came to light.

Lee’s lawyer, Mr Cory Wong from Invictus Law Corporation, told the court that this was a timely lesson for Lee on the perils of dubious online transactions and of trying to surf the dark web.

There is no evidence to suggest that he has paedophilia, and his loved ones were also in court to be his immediate pillars of support, the defence counsel added.

Those convicted of possessing or gaining access to child abuse material can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.

Related topics

court crime child sexual abuse

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