Hentai Collector Sentenced to Jail Over "Obscene" Material

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Hentai Collector Sentenced to Jail Over "Obscene" Material

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A comic collector in Iowa has been sentenced to six months in jail for importing and possessing hentai books from Japan that depict child sex and bestiality.

Christopher Handley was slapped with the sentence last week after pleading guilty in May 2009 to charges of "possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children" and "mailing obscene matter." The charges stemmed from a U.S. Post Office seizure of materials that Handley had shipped to him from Japan back in 2006, which eventually led to a search of his home and the discovery of seven books that were deemed contrary to the law. In no particular order:

Mikansei Seifuku Shōjo (Unfinished School Girl) by Yuki Tamachi (LE Comics)
I [Heart] Doll by Makafusigi (Seraphim Comics)
Kemono for ESSENTIAL 3 (THE ANIMAL SEX ANTHOLOGY Vol.3) by Masato Tsukimori et al (Izumi Comics)
Otonari Kazoku (Neighboring House Family) by Nekogen (MD Comics)
Eromon by Makafusigi (Seraphim Comics)
Kono Man_ ga Sugoi! (This Man_ is Awesome!) by Makafusigi (Seraphim Comics)
Hina Meikyū (Doll Labyrinth) by Makafusigi (Seraphim Comics)

Handley, a computer programmer who according to defense documents spends his free time playing online games, reading comics and attending a bible study group, became interested in anime while in college in the mid-90s. He claimed he was aware of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a law against the possession of "virtual" child pornography and didn't realize that the material in question was illegal; if he had, he said, he would "never had ordered it and would have destroyed any of it" that he owned.

The prosecution in the case admitted that Handley did not have a criminal history and wasn't in possession of any actual child pornography, but argued that the material had no "arguable scientific, literary, artistic or political value" and was "clearly obscene."

Handley chose to accept the plea bargain after being advised by his lawyer, Eric Chase, that he would probably be convicted once the jury saw the images in his collection. Although Chase declined to get into details, he said, "If they can imagine it, they drew it. Use your imagination. It was there." And the penalty he faced if he had fought the case and lost was far more punitive: Up to 15 years in the slammer and a fine of $250,000.

Handley will also be required to serve three years of supervised release and undergo a "treatment program" that will include psychological testing and polygraph examinations to "reveal possible new criminal behavior," which he will have to help pay for, and five years of probation.

I don't know much about hentai but I do know that being sent to jail for possessing the wrong kind of drawings in the wrong part of the country is simply wrong. Handley was sentenced under the Protect Act of 2003, which prohibits vaguely-defined "obscene" material involving minors, but as Charles Brownstein of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund noted, "The drawings are not obscene and are not tantamount to pornography. They are lines on paper." Which is enough, it seems, to send a man to jail and irrevocably destroy his life.

Source: Anime News Network, via Wired

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As much as he is a disgusting pervert, its his stuff so he can do whatever he wants with it. Its just a manga, not some super dildo or death weapon. Why are they getting so pressed om lines on paper?

They should have given him a warning or something before destroying his life and treating him like a convicted pedophile.

How much do you wanna bet there's gonna be at least one person who shuffles through their manga collection and/or destroys some of it after reading this thread?

Sounds like a harmless pervert to me - someone who has all kinds of weird porn on his hard drive, not some child stalking pedophile.

15 years and a quarter million fine for a victimless crime is ridiculous either way.

As sick as it is, can you really arrest the guy for a comic?

I guess the crunch is on!

FLUSH THAT SHIT DOWN THE TOILET, MARY-BETH! THE FUZZ ARE AT THE DOOR!

OH SHIT, BURN IT ALL, BURN IT ALL, BURN IT ALL.
Nah, I don't have any of that type of porn, child and bestiality? That's sick, but, seriously, it's just pictures, there are thousands of these things on the internet, I can't believe they destroyed someone's life for that.

That's some weird material don't get me wrong but, they're just drawings and this should have just been a minor offence. If he was caught again (and a clearer definition of what drawings fall in the "obscene" category was given) then maybe this might have been a more fitting punishment but, the fact that he's getting this sentence right off the bat is wrong and it makes me wonder how far governments can go in what it deems "obscene". This is a loss in the war for human rights and this event should have never taken place, or at least the punishment should not have been so severe.

Heard this a couple of days ago from a thread on this site. Like I said before, they're not real girls.

Welll... oops.

Case details aside, I don't agree with Mr Brownstein here. It's the nature of art is that it depicts things (and elicits an emotional response, which is no doubt why a guilty plea came in), you can apply the ink on paper argument to anything from racist propaganda to a bank statement. It's what those lines signify that matters, which in this case just happens to be Hentai. Surely a little bit of logic would have told the guy he was buying porn depicting under age characters and that that was going to rub quite a lot of people up the wrong way (pardoning the expression).

Six months seems fairly lucky all things considered, although the mind boggles at those titles.

Aside from that, polygraph test? What the hell? Why are they even bothering a system that's worse at spotting lies than flipping a coin? That's just plain bizarre.

Hell, this isn't going to help much with people thinking all anime is porn...

And hell, that's why you view that stuff on the internet what?

How can you have a crime this damaging without a victim? Sure, it's sick and perverted, but seriously, it's just some drawings. This is stupid. But still, that hentai is messed up.

EDIT: Isn't this like getting arrested for murder after shooting someone in a game?

I think this is ridiculous... you can't thought police people. As long as he's doing no one harm and not looking at the real stuff then I think it should be acceptable.

Well, that is disgusting.

But their not even pictures of real people. Just drawings.

If I drew a stick figure bent over another stick figure, would that count as pornography and would I have to go to court for it?

Krythe:
How much do you wanna bet there's gonna be at least one person who shuffles through their manga collection and/or destroys some of it after reading this thread?

No bet, sai, no bet.

I get the feeling that it wasn't so much he found that kind of thing attractive as it was that he was a collector and "had to have them."

Like a Pokemon master!

Fuck, I'm glad I don't live in the US.

Yay for destroying the lives of people who've done nothing to harm others! Now let's go get all those sick gamers that think killing people is fun, because if they like to look at images of it, they must be planning to do it!

sigh

It's interesting how harsh sentences can be given for pretty pithy crimes, whilst I've seen terrible crimes punished with almost a slap on the wrist and a "don't do it again".

Xorghul:
Fuck, I'm glad I don't live in the US.

I understand what you mean, but your post still makes me wonder about you.

Andy Chalk:
the material had no "arguable scientific, literary, artistic or political value"

There are a lot of books and comics that fit that description. Are they going to send you to jail for owning a copy of "Countdown"?

That is a disgusting sentence, they are all god damn drawings and therefore not anything to be moronic about. You know what's pathetic? A mugger could be given less of a sentence. The United States should be ashamed of its legal system, it fails.

Irridium:
Well, that is disgusting.

But their not even pictures of real people. Just drawings.

If I drew a stick figure bent over another stick figure, would that count as pornography and would I have to go to court for it?

This all comes down to a violation of the first amendment. From Wikipedia:

Personal possession of obscene material in the home may not be prohibited by law. In writing for the Court in the case of Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557 (1969), Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote, "If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch." However, it is not unconstitutional for the government to prevent the mailing or sale of obscene items, though they may be viewed only in private. Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002), further upheld these rights by invalidating the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, holding that, because the act "[p]rohibit[ed] child pornography that does not depict an actual child..." it was overly broad and unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote: "First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought."

So the only reason he could have been found guilty was for ordering the stuff, and technically they could have sentenced him but it was illegal to seize it.

For all of you Canadians out there saying "thank god I don't live in America": our laws are even more retarded.

Also, this is just like saying video games depicting violence is murder and punishable as that.

Thank Christ the real criminals are being locked away and punished with all the force of the law.

Now if they can start arresting people for having opinions differing to mine then the world will be a much better place.

Remember, if you don't agree with the above, "I'ma haff ta kastrate yoo boi."

Krythe:
How much do you wanna bet there's gonna be at least one person who shuffles through their manga collection and/or destroys some of it after reading this thread?

On a completely unrelated topic...
My friend wants to know how do you completely destroy all the data on a hard drive?

This means I could get 6 months in jail....

<_<

>_>

Canada has similar laws but frankly it's just drawings, why don't you spend your time going after people making the real deal or watching the real deal? I don't get people sometimes, oh and in Canada you can be charged for just the words, say if you write an erotic story involving children.

Religious idiot parents refuse to take their daughter to doctor after her kidneys fail and she dies: 18 months.
Guy orders comic books: 6 months.

(So, by this logic: 3 Otakus = 1 murderer)

Me hauling my ass outta this country since I'm now unsure if my medical textbooks could qualify as obscene material: Priceless.

There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's America.

P.S. Any Finns looking for a roommate?

Patriot act, patriot act, gotta love the patriot act...

[/sarcasm]

Makes you want to check what else may land you in jail... He's got a strange hobby, but I'm inclined to let him be. He doesn't hurt anyone with it, and for me that's the thing that counts.

So collecting artwork is illegal now?
Good thing I don't live in the US.
I'd rather move to Japan!

Rednog:

Krythe:
How much do you wanna bet there's gonna be at least one person who shuffles through their manga collection and/or destroys some of it after reading this thread?

On a completely unrelated topic...
My friend wants to know how do you completely destroy all the data on a hard drive?

With a big ass magnet.

I've seen a bunch of teens rape and destroy a girls life get off with no jail time. But this guy has to go to jail and have his life taken away from him for something like this? Justice is amazing.

Citrus Insanity:
They should have given him a warning or something before destroying his life and treating him like a convicted pedophile.

Seriously. They went a touch to far me thinks...

Axeli:

Rednog:

Krythe:
How much do you wanna bet there's gonna be at least one person who shuffles through their manga collection and/or destroys some of it after reading this thread?

On a completely unrelated topic...
My friend wants to know how do you completely destroy all the data on a hard drive?

With a big ass magnet.

And/or a blowtorch.

That's ridiculous, 15 years and $250K? What the hell are they trying to prove, that they're as fundamentalist as the Catholic Church in the 1600s? It's a comic! He didn't stalk, touch, rape, or look at real children in lust for all the evidence that is.

Okay, I can understand why he would take a deal. It doesn't matter what the law is, if a jury already thinks you're a pervert they'll lock you up for anything that's on the table. Now, because he's into manga, he's going to be strung up to a polygraph and be subjected to a psychologist prodding into every corner of his life to find out what made him decide to veer from the norm.

Yeah, it's weird that he's into child hentai and bestiality, and I'm not endorsing it, but there are droves of people who are plenty worse who won't get caught because they keep it online. If the postal service hadn't been rifling through his mail it would never have gone public and this guy could have lived his perfectly normal life. Nobody deserves to have their dirty little secret revealed.

Not saying I support this stuff, but let people look at whatever the fuck they want, for Christ's sake.

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