Cartoon sex-abuse porn 'issues' raised

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 05:00 29/09/2011
Xiran Zhang
FILE IMAGE
NO CONVICTION: Xiran Zhang who imported DVDs with cartoon animations depicting rape, abuse, and bestiality involving eels has been discharged without conviction.

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A judge has refused to consider a discharge without conviction until a student addresses "issues" that led him to import cartoon sexual-abuse pornography.

Xiran Zhang, 22, had 10 DVDs in his baggage when he flew into Auckland International Airport from Shanghai. He is in the first year of an engineering degree at Canterbury University.

He pleaded guilty to five charges of importing prohibited goods and was scheduled to be sentenced in a Christchurch District Court session at the Rangiora Courthouse yesterday.

The cartoon films, called "anime", depicted rape, abuse and bestiality.

Lawyer Simon Clay argued for a discharge without conviction under section 106 of the Criminal Justice Act, but Judge Raoul Neave said he was concerned about issues raised in Zhang's pre-sentence report. He did not say what the issues were.

He agreed to give Zhang time to address these concerns, before the sentencing, so the judge could then consider granting a discharge.

The material's nature was "extremely disturbing", but the fact that it was cartoons put it in a different category from other pornography that involved real victims, he said.

Prosecutor Tim Mackenzie said the Crown saw supervision as the appropriate sentence for the offending.

The judge said he would not proceed with sentencing until evidence existed that Zhang had a commitment to address the issues raised in the report.

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- The Press

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