A three judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Dwight Whorley on child pornography charges last week, and ruled that there is no necessity that an actual child be involved for a conviction, according to the Associated Press. Whorley had argued in his appeal that the 20 anime he’d received on his work computer, which reportedly depicted young girls being forced to have sex with men, were protected speech; two of the three judges on the panel rejected that argument.
This ruling could possibly affect the case of Christopher Handley, a 38-year-old Iowa man who stands accused of purchasing and transporting across state lines manga depicting underage sexual acts. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is working with the defense in Handley’s case. The PROTECT Act is at the core of both cases.
Read the original CBLDF press release about the Handley case HERE.
ICV2 also said:
Whorley is currently serving 20 years in prison; he was convicted of 74 counts of child pornography and obscenity charges, including receiving photos of real children having sex.
Christopher Handley, who did not possess any photos of real children, is currently facing charges under the PROTECT Act for possession of manga (see “Yaoi Titles in Manga Child Porn Case”). That case goes to trial in early January. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is assisting in the defense.
As I’ve said before, I don’t see why having fictional depictions of one crime is illegal and having fictional representations of hundreds of other crimes is a-okay. According to the release, Whorley possessed actual child porn, and if that’s true, I say throw the book at him (on that count, anyway). Handley did not own a single incident of actual child porn. It’s a huge and important distinction.
Jeff Trexler will have legal analysis later today.