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Toughening up on possessors of child sex abuse

20 April 2005

Courts toughening up on possessors of child sex abuse images

Today’s sentence of a hefty fine imposed on a beneficiary who possessed child sex abuse images, was lauded as a step in the right direction by those working to combat the trade.

Donald Trevor Callesen, a 51-year old beneficiary and gardener, was fined $10,450 by the Whangarei District Court and told that he should pay the fine in instalments while he made arrangements to sell his house.

Callesen’s material included pictures of girls as young as two years old being sexually abused by adult men.

Long-time campaigner Denise Ritchie of Stop Demand Foundation said “The Courts are increasingly recognising the seriousness of such offending and the enormous harm to the dignity and well-being of the huge numbers of child victims used to create these images.”

“If we are to make any inroads into stopping this modern-day sexual abuse of children here and overseas, we must work to stop the demand for such images. Imposing sentences that reflect the gravity of offending and provide future deterrent to offenders and others in the community is a step in the right direction,” says Ritchie.

Callesen was sentenced under the law applicable at the time of his offending. Future possessors of child sex abuse images will face up to five-year prison sentences, under recently-strengthened legislation.


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