American Guilty of Loli Manga Possession Faces 15 Years

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The trial of an American man arrested for ordering loli manga from Japan has ended after he pled guilty; he now faces a possible 15 year sentence, along with a $250,000 fine and the loss of all his precious loli manga.

The man, Iowa resident Christopher Handley, pled guilty to “possessing obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children and mailing obscene material,” charges stemming from postal workers rifling through his package and discovering it contained manga supposedly depicting underage sexual activity.

After lengthy and complex legal proceedings, details of which were covered in the previous article on the matter, Handley finally folded and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years and $250,000 in fines, along with forfeiture of anything the government happened to take during the trial. Sentencing is due at a later date.

The precise nature of the material he was arrested for is not clear, but Handley’s lawyer has previously insisted they were harmless yaoi comics, which suggests either that the material was rather willfully misconstrued by the authorities, or that the defence is trying to pass off shota as being “yaoi” in order to lessen the opprobrium.

His lawyer, Eric Chase, explains in comments to the media last year:

“There is explicit sex in yaoi comics, and the men are drawn in a very androgynous style, which has the effect of making them look really young. There’s a real taboo in Japan about showing pubic hair, so they’re all drawn without it, which also makes them look young. So what concerned the authorities were the depictions of children in explicit sexual situations that they believed to be obscene. But there are no actual children. It was all very crude images from a comic book.”

However, we hear from the confession that the shipment in question consisted of “obscene material, including books containing visual representations of the sexual abuse of children, specifically Japanese manga drawings of minor females being sexually abused by adult males and animals.” The US Postal Service later conducted a search of his domicile and found the rest of his collection.

The circumstances surrounding Handley’s guilty plea are distinctly unclear (see the forum), but the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a pro-freedom of expression group closely involved in the case, condemns the wretched coward for caving in and so potentially introducing a precedent which could be used in further prosecutions, though they are hopeful this can be mitigated:

“Naturally, we are very disappointed by this result, but understand that in a criminal case, every defendant must make the decision that they believe serves their best interest. Because the set of facts specific to this case were so unique, we hope that its importance as precedent will be minimal. However, we must also continue to be prepared for the possibility that other cases could arise in the future as a result.”

The case is legally complex, but the core issue is that loli manga remains Constitutionally protected free speech, as judges have ruled the laws banning it contravene the First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

However, a legal loophole allows the charges of possession to stand due to the material having been “moved in interstate commerce,” even though it would otherwise be Constitutionally protected art.

Those looking for more speculative details, including supposed comments from those familiar with Mr Handley alleging he was a victim of exceedingly bad legal counsel, can read more on the forums.

Strangely, the vigour with which the US has been defending the rights of fictional children has not changed the fact that the USA remains one of the least safe places to be a child in the developed world according to the UN, despite having a legislature which seems obsessed with child protection…


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    Comment by Anonymous
    15:19 14/02/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Wow. America's cracking down on comics now. I guess they're having a hard time arresting the REAL pedophiles

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    17:23 06/04/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Um, do you mean the real abusers/exploiters/rapists/statutorapists?

    People don't get arrested for pedophilia since it's a psychiatric diagnosis in the paraphilia class, not a crime or even an action.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:32 07/05/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's not even a paraphilia. Need I remind that homosexuality was once called homoPHILIA!

    Pedosexuality is a normal sexuality that some people have a problem with because:

    1. They think that their imaginary god doesn't want them to be having sex until marriage. If that was true though, we wouldn't have genitalia until marriage!

    2. They think that children are 'innocent', and are actually mistaking ignorance with innocence and thinking that children who have sex as children don't do all the other 'normal' things that children do (bullshit, coming from my own experiences as a child!).

    3. They are actually pedosexuals THEMSELVES who are using their 'outrage' against pedosexuals to cloak themselves and keep people from thinking that they are pedosexuals.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:40 27/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    1. Sorry that your parents made you go to church every Sunday. This isn't a matter of religion (see: British priests).

    2. You're acting as if you have the right to decide concepts like innocence and ignorance.

    3. Now you're just acting dumb/angry. I guess you think gay people are actually straight people and straight people are actually gay, making everyone bisexual. And since some fap to /d/ material it's only normal that everyone else does too, only without admitting it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:39 15/07/2015 # ! Neutral (0)

    You meant the REAL "MOLESTERS" pedo"phile" is love not crime. Rape is a crime love is not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:39 30/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    no just means they're too lazy and just go for an easy win. if you dont hear speak think and live the way i do. you need to go away. thats what america is and always has been.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    13:28 22/11/2009 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Any good lawyer should be able to make them drop these charges and get that guy a large sum of money.
    Several constitutional laws were broken here the USPS should be paying this guy millions.
    Item was not technically illegal so they have jack shit for a case.
    I swear sometimes is seems the US needs another civil war.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:34 07/05/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Actually, the 'obscenity' laws that they used are unconstitutional, but no one wants to challenge them based on that.

    Avatar of James
    Comment by James
    12:52 05/08/2010 # ! Good (+0.4)

    What confuses me about this is that they mentioned that the postal workers were rifling around in his package. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that in and of itself illegal? I believe it is, because someone's mail is their own buisness.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:32 27/12/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah, that's the first thing that bothered me too. Unless they already knew what and in whose mail to look for, this means checking people's mail is a habit to them.

    Avatar of dzodzu
    Comment by dzodzu
    21:53 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wait wait wait wait wh.. wha.. what? 15 years? Okashi, deshou? For a 2D ??? DX

    Avatar of Ukonkivi
    Comment by Ukonkivi
    22:20 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I just wanted to reply to say that God from Maria Holic is spectacular.

    Comment by Lord Magtheridon
    22:00 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    For f-sake
    its just a comic, thank god that those retards don't do this bullshit at paintings/drawings and statues .... but I'm afraid that those fucks might do so...

    btw there are laws of posting, downloading "loli" material in internet, but what if I'm the author of those works and confirm that they are all legal age no matter how child like they are?!

    Avatar of Michio
    Comment by Michio
    03:39 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tell that to the judge who is interpreting the art. It's loli if they say it is. :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:03 13/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The problem is that the law is very loose on the subject. a cop can have a person arrested for a picture they took if the cop can deem the picture "erotic". Well what is erotic? what if the child is taking a bath and its a innocent picture *literally cant see any chest or below* and the cop deems that erotic. but is it trully erotic for taking a innocent picture of our own child taking a bath? I mean what parent really hasent taken a picture of their own child naked at one time. It's innocent with no harm in it.

    Only reason I know of these laws is because I worked in photo developement. Reporting some one for CP could land you in some severly hot water if it comes out you have no real defense. now you just went and ebaressed a entire family causing emotional and maybe even physical harm to them through a indirect action. Thats the problem with CP laws in general.

    Comment by Tommy
    21:48 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do postal worker have the rights to check through every mail they receive? If the postal worker did not check through his ordering it should not be a problem.

    What's up with loli banning? They are just drawing on a piece of paper. People who read loli manga which sometimes I do does not go out and rape children after reading because I know it not right to do so and to those who does not read loli manga will eventually rape the children.

    It's a mad world! Those bastard who are passing the law should die and America is a free world why they are having this kind of stupid banned on loli manga?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:00 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If a Postal Inspector or the Postal Inspection Service actually felt the need to search every single piece of mail be it a letter or package then yes they would be able to legally do so. Would it be feasible? No, so they use a semi-random system or check items that are "suspicious."

    Comment by blue_blue
    21:08 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    at times like these, I'm glad I live in Indonesia.

    Comment by mi
    20:36 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    most fucked up story
    i recently watched a show in discovery
    and they have 3 people who cooperated and killed a guy

    they were jailed for
    15 years
    15 years and
    35 years

    and that,
    possessing a drawn image...
    for 15 years!

    sometimes i want to laugh at people who graduated at good school and decided what's justice and what's not

    rather helping that guy so that he will regret what he did in jail, it will reverse effect. he will surely go to the bad

    Avatar of tyciol
    Comment by tyciol
    17:56 06/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why should he even regret what he did, he looked at a fucking pic. This will just make him bitter and think "if they'll just jail me for thinking and looking at something I may as well go do whatever I want" and them abruptly he'll probably go track down the judge of the case and prosecutor or something.

    Comment by Wizary
    22:03 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh you United States...

    Comment by GourmetPrince
    00:08 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what? The guy wanted to jack it to some shota. As long as he isn't touching kids there is no issue there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:42 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
    If it was NOT EXPLICITLY stated that there were chidren in the manga, then forget about it. For fucks sake, I am tired of people trying to take this shit to court. I enjoy loli, and shit like that, but its a fucking drawing. Who gives a shit. This whole response was disjointed.

    Avatar of Wincest
    Comment by Sigh
    23:39 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm not defending lolli's or anything. But I've seen actual child molestors, get lesser sentences than that.

    WTF is going on.

    Avatar of infidel
    Comment by jj
    09:19 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Figures.

    Comment by knee-san
    00:38 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    tl;dr on the whole thread, smart people of SanCon

    i have prepared a shitload of apologetic wine and a humble pie just in case anyone wants it. i'll be at the corner

    love knee-san

    Comment by anonymous bastard
    01:19 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    what the fuck, the evidence was illegally obtained. how the fuck does crap like this get to court?

    Comment by pawwof
    01:04 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    one thing interesting about this is the fact the US postal service is not a federal service and thus can not conduct a search of a private residence. So IF they had performed such a search none of the materials found would be able to be used in a court of law. It is possible the translation of the story is messed up and they meant to say police or FBI.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:02 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The USPIS is a legal law enforcement arm and is as old as the country itself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:42 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    just because otakus are a minority and the rest of the world besides japan cannot reproduce this kind of market for the otakus, the japanese culture is now being discriminated ("if we cannot produce it and reap profit from it, you are NOT ALLOWED to have it!").

    we are given less freedom, ppl can now goto jail because they have hobbies like reading comics and into fictional stories.

    Comment by superchan
    22:36 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ow shit guys i have a question then should I stop read
    Sekirei and Rosario + Vampire manga's booth of them is that same category like the arrested person ??

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:00 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lets say
    ban feminism!!!

    Comment by NTX
    22:55 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah, so they used the old "it's yaoi" defense. :)

    Avatar of LunarSD
    Comment by LunarSD
    22:49 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pro-active thoughts:

    1)Spam the ACLU with emails (/b/, are you out there and bored as usual? seriously?) & letters. Definitely physical printed letters from home addresses that they would eventually get so sick of having to throw out they might actually do something useful for once.

    2)If we claim that Hentai is a valid and "important vehicle for public opinion", which I know I'm not alone in viewing something like SanCon as (people giving their opinions on Ero subjects, even 4chan occasionally serves this purpose), then we would actually already have Supreme Court precedent that our visual media is the vehicle for our protected speech.

    This is covered by a Supreme Court decision allowing motion pictures to be anti-religious...
    --Continued in the Forums

    -----

    If you'd like more details on the case at hand, try this excellent post featuring correspondence letters from Handley's own mother, and Expert Testimony that could have turned the case around, but never showed up.

    This the most up-to-date you can get on this case.

    It was just one person failing after another that led to this...

    Comment by NicklesS
    19:42 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just a loli manga though... Wa 15yrs jail... I rather rape a real loli if wan me to put in jail for that long.

    Comment by Al
    15:44 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope the Swine Flu hits all those bureaucrats/regulators/politicians who dare infringe in our RIGHT to enjoy seemingly harmless artistic works of Loli! :p

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:05 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    usa=everything can be used against us

    Comment by thegirlguywhosaysheisagirl
    16:04 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I find it odd that they do not prosecute women and only go after the male species in regards to this type of case. Not to mention the whole process in which this was discovered is rather irritating. Going through someone's mail? How else is someone supposed to get the material if torrenting and the like is illegal? The government continues to push people to downloading and torrenting because it is illegal to actually buy the products. They will never be able to make it illegal though there are too many of them. They can't afford to send all of those people to prison, it would cost too much and is too stupid a reason. Besides it is manga like this that helps keep potential real child predators from heading out into the real world.

    The guy made a huge mistake and had horrible law representation as anyone with a brain could have managed to fight against these charges. Hopefully this won't see a surge of new cases and problems resulting from it.

    Comment by JD in the making
    16:41 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just to clarify. This person wasn't charged on the possession of obscene materials. In fact, the judge threw out the charge and ruled it unconstitutional. What they really nailed him on is the fact that he imported illegal materials from Japan(interstate commerce law). So basically they got him on a technicality. Whether you like it or not, visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual act is deemed illegal by the PROTECT Act. If you want to have it overturned you might try writing to your senators in the state of your residence. But once something is signed into law it takes close to an act of God to reverse it. I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Comment by Self-medicated
    15:43 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    As long as they leave my medical marijuana alone, I guess I can deal with the loss of hentai.

    Avatar of Cosplaying God
    Comment by Jashin
    15:11 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This just proves how bad the postal service is...

    Why the hell was he discovered? Only way he got discovered was either he opened up what he had in public or delivery guys inspected and read the manga... After reading it and not satisfied they reported the poor guy and had him arrested...

    Either way... He paid for his manga... This is just plain wrong...

    Avatar of Kazaki
    Comment by Jira
    15:42 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Idiot. Someone, somewhere, has to pay for it to begin with. How do you think people do scans? Some brave soul coughs up the money to buy it and distributes it for us unlucky souls, since its illegal for us to buy it here. Now I agree that he was idiotic for purchasing it, since he lived in US, where we all know very well, that its illegal. But don't diss people for purchasing a product to support the original artist.

    I myself love J-Rock, and I can rock out to UVERworld anytime of the day. So naturally I would import their albums to support them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:34 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Guy who likes yaoi goes to jail. He's going to get enough yaoi there.

    Avatar of Miroku74
    Comment by Miroku74
    15:24 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Y'know... I love my country. America is great as far as being a melting pot of ideas and cultures....

    It's the GOVERNMENT and tinshit-logic moralfag interest groups I have with a psychotic fucking hatred for.

    Avatar of infidel
    Comment by jj
    09:11 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good point...perhaps I should adopt this view as well

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:25 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Prosecuting someone for possession of loli hentai?

    That's like prosecuting some government official for war crimes because he likes drawing imaginary people getting tortured.

    Why does this country have to be so goddamned stupid sometimes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:59 30/03/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    i agree, its funny. i read the article and came up with a contradictory argument. if reading a manga or comic depicting a "fictional" (meaning not real)minor in an explicit sexual act is a crime, then in that same sense, playing a violent video game is a crime as well. its not real but its committing an act of murder or homicide or w/e else in the video game. its the same concept. so id imagine the governments gonna be busy for a while arresting all those people who have committed murder in violent video games.

    Comment by Shadow
    17:48 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is bullshit.
    I suppose it means that any hentai manga I buy when I'm in Japan next year is coming in my carry-on bag with me, instead of being mailed to my house or put in my luggage, just in case. :/
    Fail, America. Fail.

    Avatar of Knives
    Comment by Knives
    18:06 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    why not just read it in Japan then dispose of it on the way back..... you could still get jacked if they find it in your bag.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:46 26/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    no need to dispose quickly. In malaysia we scanned it then we sell it for scrap paper. Everybody wins.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:05 27/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now instead of your packages being part of random selection for screening, your luggage can be! Imagine the reactions of the TSA when they see them! Yay! No private raid for you, you can be "taken aside" in front of all those people!















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