Thursday, April 26, 2018

Virtual child porn possession is punishable

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On 31 March 2011 the Court in Rotterdam has ruled that the possession of virtual child pornography, meaning possession of computer animations and / or drawings, is punishable. A 56-year resident of Rotterdam was sentenced to a term of 24 months imprisonment, of which 6 months are on probation for seven years.

The court ruled that the indictment included virtual child pornography images that are punishable under Article 240b of the Penal Code. The intention of this offense, after amendment in 2002 had been made, is no longer purely to protect the depicted young persons, but also to protect children in general against conduct that could be used to encourage or entice children to engage in sexual conduct or behavior that may become part of a subculture that promotes sexual abuse of children.

Justification for the offense is also the preventing of damage caused by the circulation of images that suggests sexual abuse. The legislator could at the time not foresee what opportunities would come up the virtual field. The virtual images that are being made nowadays can be very realistic. To answer the question whether this virtual image is punishable, the Court looked at the purpose of the amendment in the legislation.

It should be prevented that scope of criminalization is stretched too far. These images should then also have the intent to generate sexual arousal or sexual purposes. In this case, the Court ruled that the images damaged the interests that the legislator intended to protect with the amendment of the legislation.

 

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