The Teesside Crown Court of Middlesbrough, England convicted 39-year-old Robul Hoque of 10 counts of possessing prohibited images of children. However, the children depicted in the images were all drawings. Hoque is believed to be the first man in the country brought to court solely over manga and anime images. The court sentenced him to nine months in prison, but the sentence will be suspended if Hoque maintains good behavior and follows the court’s requirements for two years.
Hoque’s defense attorney Richard Bennett said, “This case should serve as a warning to every manga and anime fan to be careful. It seems there are many thousands of people in this country, if they are less then careful, who may find themselves in that positiontoo.”
Police seized Hoque’s computer containing 288 still and 99 “prohibited” moving images, none of which were real people, in June 2012. The images are classified as prohibited because they depict young girls, some in school uniforms, and some exposing themselves or engaging in sexual activity.
Hoque initially denied the 20 charges of possessing prohibited images of children but later plead guilty to 10 specimen charges.
This marks Hoque’s second conviction regarding possession of drawn child pornography. He was prosecuted in 2008 for possessing “Tomb Raider-style” computer-generated pictures of fictional children. A jury convicted him on six counts of making “indecent pseudo-photographs” of children, another first in the U.K. Hoque denied these charges but was required to complete a sex offender treatment program.
Judge Tony Briggs told Hoque in court after his most recent conviction, “You are an intelligent man. You certainly should have been aware of the risk of indulging in accessing this material, and you acknowledge your foolishness and guilt. This is material that clearly society and the public can well do without. Its danger is that it obviously portrays sexual activity with children, and the more it’s portrayed, the more the ill-disposed may think it’s acceptable.”
Thanks to Ian Wolf for the news tip
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