American national Jason Scott Herrin, 47, was handed four criminal charges — one count of possessing child abuse material, one count of possessing obscene videos, and two counts of communicating with another person to obtain for consideration the sexual services of a minor under 18.
Court documents stated that on Aug 17, 2020, at Eco Sanctuary condominium in Bukit Panjang, Herrin allegedly had 90 photographs that constituted child abuse material.
He also purportedly possessed 31 obscene video files but no further details were given.
Herrin is further accused of sending a message to an Indonesian number on Nov 14 in 2019 while he was in Singapore, telling the person to offer 12-year-old girls four million rupiah (S$375) to have sex with him.
Court documents also showed that on Feb 18, 2020, he allegedly sent a message to a Laos number telling the person to “find a kid” for him “for a high price”, with the intention of procuring sexual services from the child.
District Judge Terence Tay set his bail quantum at S$20,000 and adjourned the case to Feb 22.
According to Herrin’s profile page on NTU’s Earth Observatory of Singapore, he is involved in volcano research and the study of meteorites and asteroid impacts on Earth.
TODAY has contacted NTU to ask about Herrin’s employment status with the university.
If convicted of possessing child abuse material, he could be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.
Those convicted of communicating with another person to obtain sexual services from those aged under 18 can be jailed for up to two years or fined, or punished with both.
Those convicted of possessing obscene films can be jailed for up to S$1,000 for each film or jailed for up to 12 months, or face both punishments.