Archive for February 16, 2010

‘Obscene’ U.S. Manga Collector Jailed 6 Months

February 16, 2010 Comments off ‘Obscene’ U.S. Manga Collector Jailed 6 Months.

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. Christopher Handley was sentenced in Iowa on Thursday, (.pdf) almost a year after pleading guilty to charges of possessing “obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.” (These are illustrated cartoons, folks!)

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.
Without a plea deal with federal authorities, he faced a maximum 15-year sentence.

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.

Congress passed the Protect Act after the Supreme Court struck down a broader law prohibiting any visual depictions of minors engaged in sexual activity, including computer-generated imagery and other fakes. The high court ruled that the ban was too broad, and could cover legitimate speech, including Hollywood productions. In response, the Protect Act narrows the prohibition to cover only depictions that the defendant’s community would consider “obscene.”

The case began in 2006, when customs officials intercepted and opened a package from Japan addressed to Handley.

And, yes, he was also ordered to comply with SORNA sex offender registration requirements. and will be listed as a registered sex offender.

United States v. Shenandoah – SORNA Case

February 16, 2010 Comments off

United States v. Shenandoah is a very complex case which was decided on Feb, 9, 2010 in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Rather than posting the lengthy case descriptions and challenges, we will post two links to sources which go into the details of this case:

CA Board: Overhaul Sex Offender Rules

February 16, 2010 Comments off CA Board: Overhaul Sex Offender Rules.

Sacramento — A new report written by some of California’s top public safety officials has recommended overhauling the way the state deals with sex offenders. Proposed changes include targeting residency restrictions only to serious child predators and doing away with lifetime registration for some low-risk sex offenders.

The 109-page report was prepared by the California Sex Offender Management Board, which was created in 2006 to advise the governor, Legislature and local officials. Current board members include state Deputy Attorney General Janet Neeley and state Corrections Undersecretary Scott Kernan. The report concludes “that the significant increase in the rate of homelessness among sex offenders and lack of appropriate housing in California is the most serious issue facing the field of sex offender management.”

Since Proposition 83, known as Jessica’s Law, was approved by voters in 2006, sex offenders have been banned from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks where children play. Previous legislation known as Megan’s Law requires sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies and makes that information public.

The recommendations are due to be discussed Tuesday morning at a hearing of the California Senate Public Safety Committee.

The California Sex Offender Management Board has previously urged that the state not adopt the federal Adam Walsh Act.

TN: Bill Requires Registed Offenders to Attend Class

February 16, 2010 Comments off

Forwarded to us by a reader in Tennessee:

Tennessee General Assembly: HB 3181 by *Turner M ( SB 3290 by *Burchett)

Sexual Offenders – As introduced, requires all sexual offenders who are required to be on the sexual offender registry and whose victim was 15 years of age or younger to attend a class sponsored by the offender’s registering agency on the evening of October 31 of every year. – Amends TCA Title 40, Chapter 39.

Bill status: Assigned to s/c Criminal Practice and Procedure of JUD on 02/02/2010
Tennessee citizens must contact their Representative and Senators to voice their opposition against these bills