Christopher Handley, the Iowa man who plead guilty to obscenity charges stemming from importation and possession of manga containing sexual depictions of children, has been sentenced to six months in prison plus three years supervised release and five years probation. Handley faced up to fifteen years for possession of the manga which were determined to be without “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Handley did not possess any other forms of erotica that depicted children, making him the first person in the United States charged under the PROTECT act without possession of actual child pornography.
According to Anime News Network, the list of manga that were seized as evidence were as follows:
- 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)
However, I would not try importing them into the United States unless you want to end up like Mr. Handley.
Alright, now I need to editorialize a little on this matter. I can appreciate that they want to protect children from being molested, it’s a noble cause, and one I support wholeheartedly. However, this is the stupidest way to go about doing it that I can think of. Christopher Handley owned no other incriminating items; nowhere in his belongings were there any pictures or movies or real children being molested. The result of this trial is that they are going to drive the real pedophiles into an even deeper level of secrecy, making them even harder to track down. A pedophile who tries to control his urges by only partaking in lolicon manga and nothing that has harmed a living person has now been criminalized without committing a real crime. To prosecute a person without evidence of any actual child pornography is a ludicrous concept, and one that borders on thought policing. Manga are drawings that come from the minds of people, they do not cause any injury or trauma to a living human being during their production. This would be the equivalent of arresting someone because they like speeding and running people over in Grand Theft Auto. If a person uses a virtual system to achieve gratifications that they don’t act on in real life, it is not a crime.
Furthermore, with these precedents now set, who is to say that the government won’t expand their arguments to say…arresting someone for having manga with furries or animal sex on the grounds that the person might one day commit bestiality. This is a very slippery slope that we’ve now found ourselves on. The government now has the ability to press charges on the grounds that “that’s gross and I don’t like it.” You can’t have subjective laws; that’s why Justice is typically represented with her eyes blindfolded. Subjective laws are the basis for government-sponsored discrimination, and throughout American history, they have been used against people on the basis of race, sexual identity, etc. I hope for all our sakes that someone has the guts to take this ruling on and prove its unconstitutionality.