‘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.”

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. Seven books of manga inside contained cartoon drawings of minors engaged in sexually explicit acts and bestiality.

Sex offender law could go global with California lawmaker's bill

WASHINGTON — Megan's Law soon could go international.
The law, named after Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a neighbor in 1994, requires convicted sex offenders to be registered with the government, making it easier to track their whereabouts. Their names can then be put into databases, allowing the public to do a quick online check to determine where offenders reside.

While the law now applies to all states, California Republican Rep. Dan Lungren is proposing a worldwide crackdown on high-risk sex offenders and sex trafficking.

Under his bill, convicted sex offenders would have to tell local law enforcement of their travel plans 21 days before leaving their country. That information would then be shared with diplomatic officials in foreign countries, who could keep track of the offenders. Lungren is already working with the Mexican government on the proposal.

"The idea is to notify law enforcement officials in those countries that people are traveling," said Lungren, who called sex trafficking "a plague on our region and our nation."

The American Civil Liberties Union opposes the plan, saying it would be wrong to impose new restrictions on people who already have served their sentences.

However, Michael Macleod-Ball, the ACLU's chief legislative and policy counsel, said he fears the bill will pass because no one in Congress will want to cast a vote that could be interpreted as supporting sex offenders.

"Absolutely, we're worried about something like this passing because it's very easy to get a yes vote," he said. "Maybe we should say the converse: If you vote against something like this, you sort of stick out like a sore thumb."

Lungren said his bill is an attempt to get tough with U.S. sex offenders who leave the country and then commit similar crimes overseas.

The congressman, who represents the state's 3rd Congressional District, also is hoping to minimize sex trafficking, which he says is thriving in Sacramento, partly due to its intersecting interstate highways.

Nicholas Sensley, the chief of police in Truckee, a mountain town near the state's border with Nevada, authored human trafficking guidelines for the U.S. Justice Department. Sensley said Lungren's plan is good because it would fight sex offenders who move across borders "undetected, unnoticed and really, in a large part, unconcerned."

"It's really just another tool, bottom line, to put another clamp on those who are committing this crime," Sensely said.

Sensely is a recognized expert in the field, having established the first human trafficking task force in New York in 2001 and authoring human trafficking guidelines adopted by the U.S. Justice Department.

If Lungren's plan is passed, Sensely said, the most significant hurdle would be trying to gain the cooperation of other countries, many of which have different laws and different cultural norms.

"What we define in the United States as a sex offender may not necessarily be defined as such in other countries," Sensely said.

Partly because of the success of Megan's Law, Lungren said, sex offenders increasingly are preying on young victims overseas, where they're out of reach of U.S. law enforcement agencies. He said child sex tourism has evolved into a multibillion-dollar "industry" involving millions of children around the world, particularly in Mexico, South America and Southeast Asia.

"These cities are global hubs of human sex trafficking, where young children are bought, sold and abused in a manner that defies all human decency," Lungren said. "Recently, I was shocked to learn that many of these transactions are made with U.S. dollars and U.S.-issued credit cards."

Macleod-Ball, of the ACLU, said that there are always concerns about accuracy in a large database and that there would be lasting repercussions if anyone were mistakenly included. He said countries would have to work closely to make sure there's consistency about who's included, particularly since local laws can differ widely.

Lungren, who has yet to determine a cost estimate for his legislation, said he expects other countries to cooperate, citing Mexico's early involvement as an example. However, he said, only time will tell.

"We'll find out," he said. "I have very little sympathy for them if they think it's appropriate for 12-year-old kids to be forced to have sex with tourists. That's not my idea of tourism. I have no sympathy for it, and I think we ought to do everything we can to get rid of it."

Lungren, a member of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, worked to get California's Megan's Law passed when he was state attorney general in the 1990s. He often sponsored booths at fairs, where the public could punch in an address or a name to check for sex-related offenses. He said he often saw good results from making public information more accessible.

In one case, he said, "This woman was surprised to see that the man she was with, her boyfriend, was a registered sex offender.

"She had no idea."

Australia Asks Google To Censor It Like China

Google tells Australia to go forth
Comment Rudd government wants the same service as China
By Nick Farrell
Thursday, 11 February 2010, 13:48 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC of Australia cannot understand why Google is refusing to provide it with the same censorship service that gives to its fellow autocratic nation China.

Censorship mad Communications Minister Stephen Conroy wants Google to make the world a safer place by banning films it considers pornography or that refer to euthanasia, safer drug use and graffiti.

Dear Leader Conroy has asked Google to install a search filter like it did for the Chinese and Thai governments. However Google has said that Conroy would have to change the law before it would kick its customers like that.

Google warns this would lead to the removal of many politically controversial, but not illegal and mostly harmless Youtube clips.

The government is about to introduce legislation within weeks to force ISPs to block a blacklist of websites that it has refused classification (RC), and the government says it is in talks with Google over blocking the same type of material from Youtube.

Youtube's rules already forbid certain videos that would be classified as RC, such as sex, violence, bestiality and child pornography. However Conroy wants the rules to fit into the same quaint knee-jerk morals that have made Australia such a shining economic miracle safe for people of all sexes and races.

Conway is trying to make it look like it is all about obeying Australian law, although that particular law has not been through the parliament yet. He wants Google to make it a special case like China or Thailand, forgetting that those are not the sorts of places that Australians would like to live.

Google has recently threatened to pull out of China, partly due to continuing requests for it to censor a lot of material. We guess that would suit Conway just fine because it would mean fewer people looking at videos that call him a prat.

Since Google is based outside Australia it would mean that Conway would have to order the site blocked by local ISPs if he was going to enforce anything.

A Google spokesperson was quoted as saying she found it hard to believe that the Australian government can in any way force an American company to follow Australian law in America.

Google might have bowed to China and Indonesia who would have just blocked its service if it did not comply. However Australia would have a bit of a difficulty getting away with that politically. Most Aussies see Youtube as harmless. Conway has managed to convince some with his Internet filtering plans because he claims he is defending people from those bugbears the horrid paedophiles, since the fear of those monsters can justify everything. However censorship of Youtube would be seen for what it is - a backward step trying to drag Australia back to a time when autocratic controls were seen as essential for the preservation of society.

Stripped of his paedophile excuse, Conway is just seen as a knee-jerk censor who is opposed to anyone having access to anything he doesn't approve of or talking about subjects that are not official government policy.

Google has also pulled the rug out from underneath Conway this week by releasing a filter for parents to install so that their kids do not end up watching stuff that is inappropriate for them. It can clearly say he is usurping people's parental rights to decide what is best for their children.

When Monty Python's Life of Brian came out there were calls to have it banned. When it was shown in New Zealand it was given an R16 certificate by a censor who was sympathetic to religious feelings about the film. At age 14, I could not see it. I wanted to see it because I liked Monty Python. My dad decided that I should be able to make up my own mind about religious content and he took me to see it, most probably illegally. Brilliant film, but if it had been left entirely up to a government body I would not have been able to see it. My parents, after discussing the matter together, decided I should be able to see it. Conway's daft plan, by ignoring Google's parent filters, would effectively take them out of the equation.

"PHANTOMS" who trawl the internet are the greatest threat to our children, says best-selling author Jilliane Hoffman.

Ed: Oh, really? In the United States, 6,466 children (0-18) were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2000. In that same year, 1,236 children (0-18) died from drowning, 1,946 children died in fires, 842 accidentally suffocated. 1,621 teenage Americans committed suicide in the United States in 2000.

Sports and recreational activities contribute to approximately 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and adolescents.

And yet, somehow, none of those terrible accidental deaths, suicides or injuries suffered by children are, shall we say, as "sexy" -or even terribly interesting-to you or your readers- as a good old fashion "Phantom Pervert".

I would also like to add that, having your children arrested, prosecuted and made to register as sex offenders, is at least as great of a statistical danger to them as "the Typing Phantom".

And yet, despite all the myriad information available to you to the contrary, you persist in claiming that the worst threat to children (or adolescents, although you are probably disinclined to make such a distinction) is a "typing" bogeyman "tap-tapping" away somewhere on the Internet. The thing that really frightens me is that there are undoubtedly plenty of people who believe you.

But do you really believe it yourself? Or perhaps you're really just trying to sell your alarmist (and not very original or inspired) book which is nothing more than reheated and hysterical drivel. I know, I downloaded the first two "free" chapters from your website and tried to read it. Yech!

By the way, you do look like the female prosecutor you once were. It's the absence of a soul - a dead giveaway.

Read the hysteria here: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2847035/Jilliane-Hoffman-warns-of-paedos-online.html#ixzz0fDk5BjvC

Breakdown of Michigan juvenile sex offender cases by age

Ed: Almost 8% of Michigan's registered sex offenders are juveniles.

The story I wrote that was published earlier today focused on the number of juvenile sex offenders on the state’s burgeoning sex offender registry. But behind the big picture revelation — that nearly 8 percent of registered sex offenders in Michigan are juveniles — there’s a more detailed accounting of the state’s youngest sex offenders to be had.

What follows is a breakdown of the total number of sex offender cases by the age of the offender when the case was adjudicated, as provided by the Michigan State Police, the government agency charged with maintaining the registry. Here goes:

9 years old – 2
10 years old – 10
11 years old – 38
12 years old – 95
13 years old – 307
14 years old – 517
15 years old – 655
16 years old – 528
17 years old – 354
*18 years old – 85
*19 years old – 20
*20 years old – 7
*21 years old – 2
*22 years old – 0
*23 years old – 4
**Unknown – 1,364

*Individuals age 18-23 received juvenile adjudications likely because they were juveniles at the time of the offense but adults by the time of conviction.
**Individuals with a SOR conviction type listed as “Michigan Juvenile” but an unknown adjudication date.

If you take the time to add up the totals you’ll come up with 3,988 cases. That contrasts with the 3,563 total juvenile sex offenders that the above referenced news story mentions. So what’s the difference? According to Melody Kindraka, a public affairs representative with the Michigan State Police, there are some repeat offenders included in the smaller number — that is, juveniles who’ve had an adjudicated criminal sexual conduct case more than once.

Austrian Vigilante Killers' Paedo Hitlist

Ed: Vigilantes have become folk heroes to mobs of adoring fans.

A vigilante dad who gunned down a judge who headed the paedophile gang that raped his daughter has been urged to give himself up after police arrested the next pervert on his hit list.

Furious Drasius Keyds, 37, has been compared to the Charles Bronson character in the Death Wish films after he took the law into his own hands and shot dead a judge and then a female fixer that delivered her to the perverts.

He snapped after years of trying to get justice for his three-year-old daughter Deimantela in Kaunus, Lithuania.

Now after months on the run, police have appealed for Keyds to come home to his daughter after they arrested the final surviving member of the gang and pledged to prosecute.

Businessman Andrius Usas is facing trial this week for sexually molesting the youngster, say prosecutors.

Since the shootings Keyds has gone into hiding and has become a hero on YouTube and Facebook with hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world pledging support.

"You are a hero to all of us," reads one Facebook message. "What you did is nothing but justice."

Mugs and t-shirts with his image on them have begun appearing alongside the logo "Drasius: Lone Avenger".

"We hope Keyds can come home to his family now justice is being done. He has explaining to do and maybe some charges but he has to give himself up," said a prosecutors' spokesman.

Rendering the word "Violent" Into Complete Uselessness

A Montgomery County judge called a former Allentown minister and sexually violent predator ''every parent's worst nightmare'' Monday before sentencing him to up to five years in state prison and a decade of probation.

Paul A. Marmon, 63, of South Whitehall Township pleaded guilty last year to having sexually explicit Internet chats with a 15-year-old girl and keeping child pornography on his computer. He was arrested Sept. 2, 2008, after leaving the girl a bag of gifts under a tree at a park near her home in Lower Providence Township.

Marmon, a minister of St. James United Church of Christ from 1985 to 1987, has been behind bars ever since and will serve 10 to 43 more months. A review board deemed him to be a sexually violent predator, meaning he must comply with Megan's Law registration rules for the rest of his life.

Marmon's defense attorney, Daniel

McGarrigle, did not object to the classification.

''Any parent in this county and in this country that goes to sleep tonight that has young children that are vulnerable, what they fear most is people like you creeping into the lives of their children and harming them,'' Judge William J. Furber Jr. told Marmon, who is barred from contact with the victim or her family and unsupervised contact with any minor, among other restrictions.

Before sentencing, the girl's father told the judge Marmon communicated with his daughter online for five months. Marmon told the girl he was 19, he wanted to sleep with her and quoted Bible verses to her, according to her father.

''I just want to make sure this guy doesn't get out, because this has caused a real mess for my family,'' he said. ''My family's extremely upset by this.''

Marmon apologized to the victim's family for what he called ''selfish and sinful choices.''

''I hope everyone I hurt can be healed,'' he said, adding: ''I believe I have changed. That doesn't mean I don't have to change more, but I've changed from what I was two years ago.''

During a break in the hearing, Marmon turned around to address five people his lawyer said were his grown children and a counselor from the prison ministry. Marmon had tears in his eyes and clutched a crumpled paper from which he read.

Marmon, who came to the Allentown church from St. Luke's UCC in North Wales, Montgomery County, has a history of sexually inappropriate behavior, although a charge of indecent exposure from the mid-1970s was expunged from his record. Furber said the incident, which involved a 12-year-old girl, as well as a liaison with a married woman prompted Marmon to leave his profession.

Steven Samuel, a psychologist who testified on behalf of the defense, evaluated Marmon on three occasions and confirmed diagnoses of bipolar disorder, for which he is on medication, and a type of sexual disorder called paraphilia. Marmon is finally motivated to seek treatment because ''no one came down on him the way they have now,'' Samuel said. ''In the past, he and others were in denial.''

Deputy Attorney General Michael Sprow said Marmon pleaded guilty to all charges against him, including the third-degree felonies unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, criminal use of a computer and 66 counts of possessing child pornography.