A U.S. comic book collector is being sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to importing and possessing Japanese manga books depicting illustrations of child sex and bestiality.
In 2006 customs officials intercepted and opened a package from Japan addressed to Christopher Handley. Seven books of manga inside contained cartoon drawings of minors engaged in sexually explicit acts and bestiality.
The Anime News Network says the seven books are:
* 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)
The 40-year-old was charged under the 2003 Protect Act, which outlaws cartoons, drawings, sculptures or paintings depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and which lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Handley was the nation’s first to be convicted under that law for possessing cartoon art, without any evidence that he also collected or viewed genuine child pornography.
Comic fans were outraged, saying jailing someone over manga does not protect children from sexual abuse. “I’d say the anime community’s reaction to this, since day one, has been almost exclusively one of support for Handley and disgust with the U.S. courts and legal system,” Christopher MacDonald, editor of Anime News Network, said in an e-mail.
This is insane, where’s the Freedom of Speech Act when you need it? First of all, there is NO WAY to ID a manga character, it may look young and be a thousand years old, why? BECAUSE IT’S FICTION!
I don’t think the Protect Act applies to this case as they can’t really prove the existence of actual minors, so the content is pretty much irrelevant. They’re not protecting children here, not actual living children anyway, and as the article says there was no evidence of the guy collecting actual child pornography.
Manga is a form of art, and literature if you will, it should be excluded from that law, and why the hell was his package opened in the first place?
The guy should appeal the court, there is no evidence of plotting against children here. Since the guy’s a “collector,” even if it is pornography I think he has the right to buy whatever the hell he wants and read it in his own home, I mean how would a porn comic be of any consequence?
He was given 6 months in jail but he was originally facing 15 years!
In the end even imaginary characters can get you jailed, I should feel better now that big brother is watching my every move and deciding what’s best for me against my will…..