INDEPENDENT NEWS

Weak Sentence For Child Pornographer

Published: Wed 22 Oct 2003 10:17 PM
Weak Sentence For Child Pornographer
The 350 hrs community work sentence and hefty fine handed down today to an Auckland businessman, for trading and possessing objectionable images of children, was disappointing, says two groups fighting child pornography.
Spokesperson for ECPAT and Stop Demand Foundation, Denise Ritchie, says “While the Judge expressed appropriate sentiments about the actions of this offender and of the pernicious global nature of child pornography, a community work sentence and fine trivialises the sexual exploitation of children.”
“The Courts must send a strong message to the community that those who trade and possess such images perpetuate the ongoing sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and can expect to be sent to prison,” says Ritchie. “The supply of such images is predicated on demand. We have to crack down heavily on demand, if we ever hope to stop the trade. Community sentences provide little deterrent, and are insulting to the child victims.”
On a positive note, both groups expressed support for the Judge refusing permanent name suppression and ordering 12-months supervision, for assessment and treatment purposes. “It is vital that offenders accept that this is not a victimless crime, that by using such images for their own sexual pleasure they are re-abusing that child, and that their need for further images perpetuates more sex crimes to be committed against children,” says Ritchie.

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