Tourist Jailed in New Zealand for Child Abuse 'Manga' Images

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
10 months for German whose laptop had 35,000 images of sexual content with children

German resident Markus Balzer was arrested at the New Zealand Christchurch Airport on March 6 after customs discovered "manga" images of child sexual abuse on his laptop. Balzer explained to customs that he is an author who receives images for making electronic books for retail sale. His laptop contained over 35,000 images compiled into 570 electronic books.

Balzer plead guilty to importation charges and was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Thursday. Customs' Acting Group Manager Investigations and Response Shane Panettiere said that any kind of images depicting child sexual abuse, real or drawn, is prohibited in New Zealand.

"Whether it is an actual child or a cartoon, every image depicts a child being sexually abused, degraded, exploited and tortured and nothing excuses this offense," Panettiere said. "The reality of child sexual exploitation imagery is grim enough, but undertaking a commercial enterprise around this activity is horrific."

Ronald Clark, a New Zealand man, was sentenced in April to three months in jail for possessing and viewing Japanese anime that depicted fantasy creatures having sex. The characters' depictions as young, child-like creatures led to concerns by officials that the anime could illicit real-world child abuse.

Source: Television New Zealand

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