SINGAPORE, Aug 4 — A prosecutor has argued that YouTube personality and former radio deejay Dee Kosh has not shown any remorse for soliciting paid sex acts from minors, as evidenced by the fact that he uploaded a video “to sway public sentiments in his favour” while his case was ongoing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lim Ying Ming told the State Courts yesterday (August 3) that this could amount to “sub-judice conduct”, referring to conduct that could prejudice proceedings before the court.

“He intentionally published the video and made public his comments... knowing full well that his case has not yet been dealt with in court,” DPP Lim said.

She was referring to a YouTube video, about 10 minutes long, that the 33-year-old Singaporean had published on January 26.

DPP Lim was making sentencing submissions after Dee Kosh, whose real name is Darryl Ian Koshy, earlier pleaded guilty to one charge each of communicating with a minor under 18 to obtain sexual services, attempting to sexually exploit a minor and making an obscene video.

Four other similar charges, including possessing obscene videos, will be taken into consideration for his sentencing on Friday.

The prosecution is seeking a jail term of between five and eight months for Koshy.

The court previously heard that Koshy’s victims ranged from 15 to 23 years old at the time of his respective offences from 2017 to 2020. They cannot be named due to court orders to protect their identities.

Koshy used his verified accounts on these channels to convince them of his identity. After briefly chatting and ascertaining their ages, he proposed moving their conversations to messaging application Telegram and invited them to a secret chat.

This function allowed Koshy to set a self-destruct timer, which led to their messages being automatically deleted after 30 seconds.

Koshy also asked them for sexual services in exchange for sums of up to S$2,000 (RM6,455).

Predatory conduct

DPP Lim said that Koshy’s YouTube video, which has since been taken down at the prosecution’s request, sought to reduce his culpability by making “clarifications” designed to sway public sentiments in his favour.

“Indeed, within three hours of the video being published, it amassed over 35,000 views and more than 500 comments,” DPP Lim said.

“The comments by netizens were predominantly positive in favour of the accused. Not only did the accused engage in sub-judice conduct, he had misled the public on what the truth was.” Such conduct can hardly be said to be “evident of remorse”, DPP Lim added.

Moreover, she highlighted how Koshy got his lawyers to issue a letter of demand to one of the victims, asking the victim stop publishing allegations that he had been sexually harassed by Koshy on all platforms, or further action would be taken.

DPP Lim said that Koshy did not just deny the allegations of sexual harassment, but he tried to silence the victim in the hopes that this would “bury his crimes”.

“A plea of guilt is mainly relevant as evidence of remorse. This was, however, not the case here,” she said.

Furthermore, DPP Lim described Koshy’s decision to seek out under-aged victims as “predatory conduct”, and that he had “used and capitalised” on his status as a radio presenter and a social media influencer to lure the victims to chat with him.

Koshy’s defence counsel, Johannes Hadi from law firm Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, argued that what DPP Lim said was not true.

He said that the point of Koshy uploading his video was to “address various inaccurate news reports” since his case was first mentioned.

Hadi, who sought a jail term of 2.5 months for his client, added that contrary to what DPP Lim said, Koshy was remorseful for his actions and admitted during the video that he had made terrible mistakes.

Referring to a report from the Institute of Mental Health, the lawyer said that Koshy was found to have a low-risk of offending because he is employed, does not have a substance abuse problem, does not have psychiatric disorder, and “he is remorseful for his offences”.

Hadi said “this is a piece of objective evidence” that needs to be kept in mind.

At the start of the hearing, Koshy appeared calm and collected in the dock, but as time wore on, he could be seen removing his mask as he dabbed his eyes and could be heard sniffling.

Several of Koshy’s supporters, including his father and prominent blogger Wendy Cheng, better known by her moniker Xiaxue, were in court.

Anyone convicted of trying to sexually exploit a young person below 16 years old can be jailed for up to five year or fined up to S$10,000, or both.

If found guilty of communicating for the purpose of obtaining for consideration sexual services of a minor under 18 years old, he could be jailed for up to two years or fined, or both.

For making an obscene film, he could be jailed for up to two years or fined between S$20,000 and S$40,000, or both. ― TODAY