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The administrator of a Telegram chat group which distributes obscene materials, SG Nasi Lemak, was sentence to a year of mandatory treatment for major depressive disorder on Thursday (3 June).

27-year-old Leonard Teo Min Xuan is the last four people to be sentenced over the chat group, which had over 44,000 members accessing sexually explicit materials when the group was still active.

Teo pleaded guilty for transmitting obscene objects by sending nude photos to the chat group and owning 427 obscene images. Besides this, a third charge of possessing 99 obscene videos was also considered in sentencing.

According to court documents, the chat group was first established in November 2018. As the group began to grow, 29 of its members were given administrator rights.

Within the group, members discussed sexual matters, circulated obscene materials and promoted vice activities, the prosecutor said.

As a way to remain in the group, members had to stay active by uploading and sharing pornographic material, and in October 2019, Teo did so in order to ensure his account stays active.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement in 2019 that they had received several reports between 15 March and 3 October that year against a chat group for circulating obscene materials and promoting vice activities.

Investigations by the Ang Mo Kio Police Division uncovered the identities of the men behind this chat group, including Teo, who were subsequently arrested at various locations around the island on 14 October 2019.

Teo then admitted to be an administrator of the group and police seized his devices.

In court, defence lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy requested for a mandatory treatment order suitability report. Teo was assessed and deemed suitable for it, and the prosecutor did not reject it.

Mr Ganapathy noted that the Institute of Mental Health report clearly indicated that Teo’s major depressive disorder contributed to the offences, resulting in his judgement being impaired.

A mandatory treatment order says an offender suffering from certain treatable psychiatric condition to go through psychiatric treatment.

For each charge of circulating and possessing obscene materials, Teo could have been jailed for up to three months, fined, or both.

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