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Child sex abuse images conviction reveals social issue

Press Release

Child sex abuse images conviction reveals social issue

According to The Christchurch Press John Louis Francis Schaper, 33, was jailed for two years and four months after admitting making child pornography images available to a police officer who was using a fictitious profile online. Schaper was online in December 2011 when a police officer under an assumed profile was investigating a network that was distributing child pornography.

He said Schaper was not diagnosed as having a mental disorder and he seemed to be a person of considerable intellect, but he was also seen as a high risk of reoffending, with traits of Asperger's syndrome, self-entitlement, and "grandiosity". He was seen as having little empathy with children abused in the images he viewed.

Child protection agency ECPAT Child ALERT Director Alan Bell says “Here is a typical attitude displayed by many offenders who choose to view illegal child sex abuse images (child pornography) on the Internet. The lack of remorse and justification of their perversion is staggering. It is quite naïve to think that these images are merely virtual and that no victims result as a result of this depraved behaviour. Every time someone views these images the abuse occurs again and the demand for new images and new victims is reinforced.”

When interviewed, Schaper admitted he had between 180 and 200 contacts on his account, and had viewed "countless thousands" of images over the past year. He said his viewing was becoming worse.

Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier described Schaper's offending as "entrenched" and said it appeared to be escalating because it now involved distribution.

Judge Kellar told Schaper: "This is most certainly not victimless offending." It would cause immeasurable harm to the children involved and their lives would effectively be ruined.

“The Judge got it right.” says Bell “Many of the victims are just infants and toddlers. They are among the most vulnerable and they have their innocence stolen at a young age and many suffer the consequences for a lifetime. There is a high demand from New Zealanders to access child sex abuse images and this reveals a problem within our society. This illegal activity is coupled to prostitution and trafficking and every step must be taken to protect children everywhere from all forms of sexual abuse. Law enforcement is robust but we all need to take some responsibility to prevent this escalating in New Zealand.”

Schaper received a supervision sentence for his first offending in 2006, and a two year and three month jail term for his convictions in 2008.

He has completed two treatment programmes. The judge said he hoped the jail term would allow him to attend the Kia Marama programme for sex offenders.

Bell says “Let’s trust third time lucky. If the offender wants to bring about positive change in his life it is possible for treatment to be successful. This offender needs to change his attitude, consider the damage he has done and be receptive to those who would seek to make him a safe and responsible citizen instead of a recidivist offender.”

ENDS


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