Man Guilty of Child Porn Cartoons

EDMONTON, Alberta — A naked Pokemon and a randy Astro Boy were just a few of the images that landed Gordon Chin in Canadian court this week, culminating in a 10-month investigation that began when customs officials found explicit anime comic books in a package destined for Chin’s home.

Content seized from Chin’s home during the investigation included cartoon images of naked, tied-up children and babies being raped with pistols.

A search of Canada’s court history suggests this is the first time someone has been sent to court over cartoon porn in Canada.

“Why would anyone want to look at stuff like this?” asked Judge David Tilley. “I don't think this is the kind of filth that should be available to the public.”

Chin pleaded guilty to possession but pleaded ignorance Wednesday claiming he was unaware the content was illegal in Canada. Child porn cartoons are technically legal in the United States, as well as in Japan where the content originated.

“It’s legal in the United States,” ASACP Executive Director Joan Irvine told XBiz. “Therefore we would never turn in anyone to the government for that kind of content. However, any company that has content like that would not be allowed to be an ASACP member either.”

Unlike in the United States, where child pornography must include real children, Canada’s description of child porn includes the “visual representation” of children, something defense attorney D'arcy Depoe said few people know.

“He was clueless about Canadian law [but] he now understands our law is different,” Depoe said. “There's nothing to suggest he was ever going to do anything with it other than look at it in the privacy of his own home.”

Chin’s ignorance was enough to keep him out of jail, receiving 18 months of probation and 100 hours of community service in his sentencing. He also is banned from owning a computer or using the Internet during his probation, and his name will be added to a sex offender registry for five years.

Prosecutor Steve Bilodeau called Chin’s sentence “lucky,” referencing an upcoming Nov. 1 amendment to Canada’s child porn laws that will require a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail for anyone involved in child porn importation or distribution.

There’s some indication the United States may be following Canada’s child porn model. Last September two Republican senators introduced a bill that would give police and other law enforcement officials the right to pose as minors in online chat rooms and on other sites where children can potentially be victimized.

Missouri Sens. Kit Bond and Jim Talent said the bill was in response to a recent decision by a Kansas City judge to overthrow the conviction of Jan Helder, an attorney who solicited sex from a 14-year-old girl who was actually a Platte County deputy pretending to be a minor.