Sex Offender Registry

Only one of the individuals in this mugshot refers to an actual specific criminal case. Fortunately it’s not the last one. But it could be.

Most countries have laws intended to protect children from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, and these are essential. Pornography made at the expense of helpless children and easily manipulated teens is inexcusable. It is damning evidence of a crime, and its production and distribution must be banned to protect the children in it.

But in many countries those laws are either poorly and broadly written, or they’ve been expanded in recent times to include not just photos of actual children, but also images – even obviously non-real images – of what appears to be a representation of a child.

And the “joke” in the last panel above, is sadly possible. In one infamous case, a U.S. cartoonist named Mike Diana was convicted of obscenity for creating crudely-drawn comics which included scenes of child sexual abuse (and not in an erotic style). He didn’t have children model for them, he didn’t give them to children… there were no children involved to be harmed. But he was classified as a “sex offender”, prohibited from drawing, and not allowed near children as part of his sentence. All because he created comics that people would find offensive.

Not that you need to want to offend people.

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