Fined $780 And Put On Sex Offenders Register For Owning Comics

Yesterday, Simon Lundström appeared at the Swedish High Court to begin the process of trying to overturn last year’s ruling against him for possession of child pornography, for a second time.

Lundström translated comics for a living and it was in this capacity that he owned the manga images that have been perceived as child pornography. He was fined $780, placed on the Sex Offenders list, was told he could no longer define himself as a “manga expert” and lost his job.

Chief prosecutor Hedvig Trost has stated “Children should never be depicted in a sexual context, regardless of whether it is in a photograph or a drawing… And even a drawing could be of a real child. A photo depicting a real child could have been used to make the drawing. It is hard from the outside to know whether there is an original photo or not.”

But Björn Sellström, head of the child pornography task force said “I have doubts about how a conviction will benefit those children who are victims of real abuse. If the judgment stands, the risk is that the number of cases involving child pornography offences will increase. In turn will mean longer processing times for those cases involving photographs and films of child abuse in real situations…. We already have huge amounts of pictures to go through. Animated images are not uncommon and it would take time from work with children who are really in distress”

The court, with a packed audience, sat in silence as 39 images were displayed. Simon has stated that if the ruling is not overturned, he will leave Sweden to work in Japan.

The court will announce its final verdict in weeks.

About Rich Johnston

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

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