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Weak Sentences For Two Child Pornographers

Media release 29 January 2004

Weak Sentences For Two Child Pornographers

The fines handed down today to two men convicted of trading child sex abuse images was extremely disappointing, says two groups fighting child pornography.

Spokesperson for ECPAT and Stop Demand, Denise Ritchie, says “While we are pleased that the Judge directed both men to attend a sex offender treatment programme, fines were a ‘slap in the face’ to child victims and trivialised the nature and gravity of the offending.”

“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. These two men are part of the global demand. We have to crack down heavily on demand, if our hope is to stop the trade.”

Both groups were also critical of the decision to grant an 18-year old name suppression. Ms Ritchie says, “These offenders operate in secrecy. Ongoing secrecy is not a signal the Courts should be endorsing. The public, particularly caregivers, children and agencies working with children, have a right to know who these offenders are.”


ENDS

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