Top Stories

Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Iowa comic book collector sentenced to six months in prison

By Lynda Waddington | 02.15.10 | 10:41 am

A 40-year-old Glenwood man who pleaded guilty last year to federal child pornography charges in connection with his comic book collection has been sentenced to six months in prison and five years of probation for mailing and possessing “obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.”

Christopher Handley was an avid collector of manga, or graphic novels/comic books from Japan. His collection included the genres of lolicon/loli (named after the literary work “Lolita”) yaoi (male homosexual romance), and yuri (female homosexual romance).

Seven manga books, intercepted and seized by federal authorities, led to a 40-year-old Iowa man being indicted on child pornography charges. Similar although non-explicit graphic novels, like the three pictured above, are available at most public libraries.

Seven manga books, intercepted and seized by federal authorities, led to a 40-year-old Iowa man being indicted on child pornography charges. Similar although non-explicit graphic novels, like the three pictured above, are available at most public libraries.

As The Iowa Independent reported last year, Handley’s run-in with the law happened in May 2006 when he ordered seven of these graphic novels from overseas, which federal authorities intercepted and seized. When the authorities decided the materials were obscene, they then searched the private collection in his home and discovered more materials that were deemed to be obscene.

Although he originally faced five charges under the PROTECT Act of 2003, Judge James E. Gritzner ruled in July 2008 that several of the charges were  “constitutionally infirm.” The PROTECT Act outlaws cartoons, drawings, sculptures or paintings depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct that lack “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” Handley’s plea agreement included only two charges: One count of possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children and one count of mailing obscene matter. When Handley pleaded guilty to those charges and accepted the six month plea arrangement, he faced a maximum of 15 years in prison, $500,000 in fines and six years of supervised release following any prison term.

In the terms of his sentencing, Handley forfeited all property seized in his prosecution, including his computer and the manga images deemed obscene. The order notes that Handley should be “considered for placement at a community correctional facility or if that is not available, placement at a medial security facility so that defendant’s medical needs can be adequately met.” There is no note as to what his medical needs entail. Although Handley does have to submit to DNA collection during his term of supervised release, it does not appear that he will be required to register as a sex offender.

The case drew national attention in the fall of 2008 when the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund signed on as a special consultant to the defense of Handley.

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Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/carol.rutz Carol Rutz

    Attention Iowans:

    Please note that the three comic books (manga) in the pic are NOT kiddie porn. See these links for more info:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_&_My_Brothers (rated T for Teen)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shugo_Chara! (for older children, published in the US at Random House)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Mew_Mew (for general audiences)

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/7RUOBHLUSO77Y55RE6QD343PI4 shaun g

    I saw Rin's butt in the new Kodomo no Jikan. Am I going to jail? I think it is a thought provoking artistic work even if it does deal with messed up subjects. All good art is controversial. It may be gross and nasty but he's not hurting a real person or even looking at a real person.

    Seriously it's a cartoon. Why is it illegal to look at a drawing, but it's legal to look at photos and videos of real murders?

    What of the hentai Shoyonoido Makochan? The story of a college age superhero who had her brain transplanted into a child like cyborg? or the children's show Kyouran Kazoku nikki? About an ancient demon who has only 20 years of memory possessing the body of a ten year old? I remember a rather funny nude scene where she tries to seduce her husband who is not attracted to her due to her young body.

    Where is the line? what is “Art”? and what is smut? Can the two not overlap?

  • davidpo

    No, but if you've read Kodomo no Jikan, all you're guilty of is exceptionally bad taste in reading material.

    I get that all of the Farkers and 4Channers can't tell the difference between sexuality in art and relegating people to no more than sex objects. That still doesn't make their arguments any more coherent.

    And yes, anything more than confiscations was excessive — based on the story alone. I wonder if something else we're not hearing. This story doesn't mention the psychiatric evaluation that said he was defensive and gave upsetting answers. I'm guessing both were a factor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carol.rutz Carol Rutz

    Attention Iowans:

    Please note that the three comic books (manga) in the pic are NOT kiddie porn. See these links for more info:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_&_My_Brothers (rated T for Teen)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shugo_Chara! (for older children, published in the US at Random House)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Mew_Mew (for general audiences)

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/7RUOBHLUSO77Y55RE6QD343PI4 shaun g

    I saw Rin's butt in the new Kodomo no Jikan. Am I going to jail? I think it is a thought provoking artistic work even if it does deal with messed up subjects. All good art is controversial. It may be gross and nasty but he's not hurting a real person or even looking at a real person.

    Seriously it's a cartoon. Why is it illegal to look at a drawing, but it's legal to look at photos and videos of real murders?

    What of the hentai Shoyonoido Makochan? The story of a college age superhero who had her brain transplanted into a child like cyborg? or the children's show Kyouran Kazoku nikki? About an ancient demon who has only 20 years of memory possessing the body of a ten year old? I remember a rather funny nude scene where she tries to seduce her husband who is not attracted to her due to her young body.

    Where is the line? what is “Art”? and what is smut? Can the two not overlap?

  • davidpo

    No, but if you've read Kodomo no Jikan, all you're guilty of is exceptionally bad taste in reading material.

    I get that all of the Farkers and 4Channers can't tell the difference between sexuality in art and relegating people to no more than sex objects. That still doesn't make their arguments any more coherent.

    And yes, anything more than confiscations was excessive — based on the story alone. I wonder if something else we're not hearing. This story doesn't mention the psychiatric evaluation that said he was defensive and gave upsetting answers. I'm guessing both were a factor.

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