Two cartoons enough to send Chilliwack man to jail for seven months

Chilliwack Law Courts - File
Chilliwack Law Courts
— image credit: File

Two cartoons on a cellphone were enough to send a Chilliwack man to jail for seven months.

Arthur John Wills pleaded guilty back in June to one count of possession of child pornography, and was sentenced in court Monday by Judge Gary Cohen.

The 58-year-old also received three months probation, and a 15-year ban on attending parks, pools, playgrounds and accessing the Internet.

Wills’ conviction was based on the discovery of two images of what is known as “lolicon”—a genre of Japanese anime where underage girls are drawn in sexualized positions.

Also found on his phone was a digital poster with a message critical of “real” child porn, and in support of lolicon as a supposedly victimless way for pedophiles to enjoy their addiction. The message came courtesy of Responsible Pedophiles for Victimless Porn (RPVP), according to Crown counsel Anna Tosso.

While the two animated images were the only ones that fit the legal definition of child pornography, police also found photographs of young girls in sexualized positions wearing bikinis and underwear.

Another aggravating factor was that Wills was sentenced to a year in jail in 2011 for possession of child pornography, and was found guilty of child exploitation in 2005.

“He is somebody who ought to have known better,” Tosso told the court.

And while there were only two images that fit the definition of child porn, the other photos illustrate a pattern, Tosso argued.

“This peer group mentality lessens inhibitions,” she said of the cartoon porn.

“It does victimize children if people take it one step further.”

Tosso showed the judge the images found on Wills’ phone, which, in addition to the anime, included photos of female children in bikinis with their legs open, and photos of “nude native American children.”

Tosso asked the court for a sentence of seven to eight months in addition to the three years probation.

Wills’ lawyer, Grand Dickin, argued that the case warranted  only the mandatory minimum of six months.

“This case is an exception to the general rule that child pornography frequently includes abuse of children in one form or another,” Dickin argued.

“I submit six months jail would be sufficient.”

Asked if he would like to address the court, Wills said only that he has been “going to meetings,” and that he has no Internet access.

“Lately all I’ve been doing is reading.”

Cohen noted that while Wills was only convicted of possessing two anime images, “all of these other images are leaning in the same direction.”

The judge agreed with the Crown and sentenced Wills to seven months in jail, three years probation, a 15-year ban on attending places where children might be present, and he will have a lifetime SOIRA (Sexual Offender Information Registration Act) order.

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