Military Defense Lawyer Discuss Military Child Pornography Laws

The legality of Child Pornography – Is Cartoon pornography illegal?

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Legality of Child Pornography – Is Cartoon pornography illegal? | CRIMINAL LAW

Criminal defense attorney, Michael Waddington, discusses whether it is illegal to possess child pornography cartoons, Virtual child pornography, and hentai subgenres known as lolicon and shotacon.

Is it Illegal to Possess Child Pornography Cartoons and Hentai subgenres?

Under United States Federal law, the answer is YES.

Some states explicitly prohibit cartoon pornography and similar depictions, while others have only vague laws on such content. On a federal level, works depicting minors that offend contemporary community standards and are “patently offensive” while lacking “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value”—that is, found to be “obscene” in a court of law—continue to stand as illegal, but only if the conditions for obscenity discussed above are met: mere possession of these works continues to be legal.

Laws against the production, distribution and consumption of child pornography generally separate images into three categories: real, pseudo, and virtual. Pseudo-photographic child pornography is produced by digitally manipulating non-sexual images of real children to create pornographic material. Virtual child pornography depicts purely fictional characters (for example, lolicon manga).

Laws have been enacted to criminalize “obscene images of children, no matter how they are made” for inciting abuse. Countries that have made it illegal to possess, create, and distribute sexual images of fictional characters described as or appear to be under eighteen years old are New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Can you be charged with creating cartoons of minors engaging in sexual behavior?

The answer is, yes.

In federal court, military court, and in many state courts, it is a felony sex offense to create or possess images or cartoons of what is perceived to be children engaged in a sexually explicit activity?

You may be saying what about my right to freedom of expression? It really doesn’t apply in cases like this. For example, I had a military officer recently who was charged with possession of cartoon figures, Strawberry Shortcake, and her cartoon friends, engaging in cartoon sex with adult men (Wreck-it Ralph cartoons). There were some cartoon images of a sexual assault or rape, going on. There were a lot of things going on in these images that were disturbing, but they weren’t real people. That is still a crime in many jurisdictions.

Military Sexual Crime Lawyers Can Help

If somebody sends you an image, or you’re looking at images that seem like a sexual assault is happening between adults and children even if it’s cartoons, and not real people, under the new laws, it doesn’t matter. You are treated as if you were actually trafficking or creating images of actual children, or even just looking at them. If you happen to get sucked into an investigation like that, or brought into something like that, you need to get someone who knows the law and knows how to mount a defense to those charges. Because if you get convicted, in the military, of possessing even cartoon images, you can be looking at even for a first-time offense in federal court, up to 10 years in prison just for possession of those images.

Virtual child pornography

The UK created a new offense that makes cartoon/virtual pornography depicting minors illegal. In 2008, the law was extended to cover tracings and other works derived from photographs or pseudo-photographs.

In the USA, the PROTECT Act of 2003 made significant changes to the law regarding virtual child pornography. Any realistic appearing computer-generated depiction that is indistinguishable from depicting an actual minor in sexual situations or engaging in sexual acts is illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 2252A. Drawings, cartoons, sculptures, and paintings of minors in sexual situations that do not pass the Miller test were made illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 1466A.

Is cartoon pornography depicting minors illegal in the military?

The hentai subgenres known as lolicon and shotacon have been the subject of much controversy regarding child sexual abuse. The reported link between the use of child pornography and child abuse has been used to justify the prohibition of sexual depictions of children, whether their production involves child abuse or not.

It is a crime to possess, create, and distribute child pornography cartoons and hentai subgenres.

Pornographic parody images of popular cartoon characters, known as Rule 34, have also been challenged worldwide. Images depicting The Simpsons characters have been of particular concern in Australia and in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court established the test that judges and juries use to determine whether the matter is obscene in three major cases: Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 24-25 (1973); Smith v. The United States, 431 U.S. 291, 300-02, 309 (1977).

The three-pronged Miller test is:

1. Whether the average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, finds that the matter, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interests (i.e., an erotic, lascivious, abnormal, unhealthy, degrading, shameful, or morbid interest in nudity, sex, or excretion);

2. Whether the average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, finds that the matter depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way (i.e., ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, masturbation, excretory functions, lewd exhibition of the genitals, or sado-masochistic sexual abuse); and

3. Whether a reasonable person finds that the matter, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Any material that satisfies this three-pronged test may be found obscene and a violation of Federal child pornography laws.

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