S’porean Amos Yee released from US prison after serving half of 6-year term for sex-related offences
Amos Yee is out on parole, barely halfway into his six-year jail term in the United States for grooming a teenage girl and possessing child pornography.
The Singaporean, who was sentenced on Dec 2, 2021, was listed as being out of custody on Saturday afternoon (Singapore time) on the VINELink mobile app, which notifies victims of crimes on the current status of offenders.
He had been housed in the Illinois River Correctional Centre – a medium-security state prison in Fulton County, Illinois – about a three-hour drive from Chicago. He was expected to be released only on Oct 8, 2026.
The 24-year-old’s jail term had been backdated to his arrest in October 2020.
At the time of his offences, he was only 20 and living in Cook County, Chicago.
In February 2019, he repeatedly requested that the victim – a 14-year-old girl who lived in Texas – provide photos of herself in the nude, with him returning in kind.
He also engaged in role play and sexual fantasies with her, and exchanged thousands of messages.
The Chicago Sun-Times daily newspaper reported then that the girl had repeatedly brought up her age in messages with Yee on WhatsApp, the messaging platform on which they communicated.
Yee then instructed her to remove her age from her WhatsApp profile.
During his sentencing, he had an additional 16 other child pornography-related charges dismissed as part of a plea deal he accepted.
As a result of his offences, he is required to be listed on the sex offender registry, and also faces possible deportation from the US as his asylum status could be revoked.
At his sentencing in December 2021, he had been advised by Judge Carol Howard that pleading guilty to the charges meant he could be deported, denied admission to the US, or denied naturalisation as a US citizen in the future. The convictions could also affect his ability to obtain housing, employment and other licences, including a driving licence.
The Straits Times has contacted the US Department of Justice to find out the conditions of Yee’s parole, as well as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to learn if he will be deported.
Yee had fled Singapore for the US in December 2016, a day before he was supposed to report for a medical examination ahead of his enlistment into national service.
He was granted political asylum in the US in 2017 after citing persecution for his political opinions, following two separate incidents that saw him jailed twice in Singapore.
The following year, he was charged with engaging in hate speech again after he deliberately made comments in videos and blog posts that were derogatory of Christianity and Islam. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six weeks’ jail and a $2,000 fine.
ST has contacted the Ministry of Home Affairs to find out if Yee will be detained if he were to be deported back here.