Friday, May 29, 2009

Comic book collector convicted for owning comic

A prolific American collector of Japanese manga comics has reportedly been convicted under the 2003 Protect act of pedophilia for ordering comics which were intercepted by customs.

According to wired's threat level blog, the collector, Christopher Handley, was prosecuted for mailing obscene matter, and possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children. Three other counts (not listed) were dropped in the plea deal.  
Christopher Handley, described by his lawyer as a “prolific collector” of manga, pleaded guilty last week to mailing obscene matter, and to “possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.” Three other counts were dropped in a plea deal with prosecutors.

Comics fans are alarmed by the case, (.pdf), saying that jailing someone over manga does nothing to protect children from sexual abuse.

“This art that this man possessed as part of a larger collection of manga … is now the basis for [a sentence] designed to protect children from abuse,” says Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. “The drawings are not obscene and are not tantamount to pornography. They are lines on paper.”

Sentencing may extend to 15 years in prison.

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