An American comic book collector has been given six months in jail after pleading guilty to importing Japanese manga comics which depict child sex.
40 year old Christopher Handley from Iowa has an extensive collection of Japanese manga and anime, the former computer programmer has been a fan of the Japanese comics and cartoons for the past 17 years and owns thousands of comics and DVDs. But a small part of his collection included ‘lolicon’, which is a genre of manga that depicts childlike female characters in an erotic manner .
In 2006 US customs officials seized a package of manga comic books which Handley was importing from Japan. The books contained cartoon drawings of underage girls engaged in sexually explicit acts and bestiality. Handley was arrested and charged under the 2003 Protect Act, which outlaws cartoons, drawings, sculptures or paintings depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit acts, and which lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value”. The case came down to subjective opinion, and the judge decided that the material was obscene.
Handley has no previous convictions, and police failed to find any evidence that he collected or viewed genuine child pornography. The maximum sentence Handley could have received was 15 years, so a plea deal was put forward and Handley pleaded guilty.
This case makes Handley the first ever US citizen to be convicted and jailed for owning cartoon child porn and not genuine photographic child pornography. After Handley is released in six months time he will also serve three years of supervised release and five years of probation. On top of this he will also be required to begin a ‘treatment programme’ to determine whether he’s still sick in the brain.