Hentai Collector Sentenced to Jail Over "Obscene" Material

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Hentai Collector Sentenced to Jail Over "Obscene" Material


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 Comic Book Legal Defense Fund [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protect_Act] 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: Wired [http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-02-11/christopher-handley-sentenced-to-6-months-for-obscene-manga]


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SUPA FRANKY

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Aug 18, 2009
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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?
 

Citrus

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Apr 25, 2008
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They should have given him a warning or something before destroying his life and treating him like a convicted pedophile.
 

Krythe

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Oct 29, 2009
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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?
 

Axeli

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Jun 16, 2004
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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.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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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!
 

ultimateownage

This name was cool in 2008.
Feb 11, 2009
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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.
 

[email protected]

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Jan 11, 2009
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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.
 

Grayjack

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Jan 22, 2009
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Heard this a couple of days ago from a thread on this site. Like I said before, they're not real girls.
 

fix-the-spade

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Feb 25, 2008
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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.
 

delet

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Nov 2, 2008
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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?
 

CoverYourHead

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Dec 7, 2008
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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?
 
Jul 22, 2009
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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.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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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?
 

RagnorakTres

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Feb 10, 2009
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Krythe said:
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!
 

JayDub147

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Jun 13, 2009
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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
 
May 28, 2009
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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".
 

thenumberthirteen

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Dec 19, 2007
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Andy Chalk said:
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"?