Canadian Custom Charges Against Manga Owner Dismissed After Two Years

Canadian Custom Charges Against Manga Owner Dismissed After Two Years

Posted by March 15, 2012 Comment


The case against one US citizen Ryan Matheson by the Canadian courts, for manga comics deemed to be illegally pornographic held on his computer as he crossed the border, has been dismissed, with all criminal charges withdrawn.

Both the US Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Canadian Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund helped fight the case, with a cost of $75,000 US. The organisations partly funded the case, and are now seeking to raise money to help Ryan Matheson pay the $45,000 he incurred, as well as helpin to prevent similar cases in the future.

The CBLDF point outs that as a result of the charge “he was subjected to abusive treatment by police and a disruption in his life that included a two-year period during which he was unable to use computers or the internet outside of his job, severely limiting opportunities to advance his employment and education.”

As part of the criminal charges being dismissed, he “agreed to plead to a non-criminal code regulatory offense under the Customs Act of Canada.  As a result of the agreement, Matheson will not stand trial” which means he won’t risk a mandatory custodial sentence. You can read all about his experiences here where he writes;

After nearly two years, my case is finally resolved. This entire ordeal is the hardest thing I have gone through in my whole life. Some people might think it’s easy or glamorous to go to court and fight unjust things like this, but it was truly hell to go through. The entire time I kept thinking to myself, “My entire life is at risk here. If something goes wrong, my life as I know it is over. What is going to happen?” I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, and I have been completely innocent since day one, but that really doesn’t change much. You still feel like the world is falling apart and people still treat you like you’ve committed some kind of horrible atrocity.

There but for the grace of God, folks. You can make a donation to the CBLDF and the CCLLDF here.


(Last Updated March 16, 2012 5:22 am )

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About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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