Criminal Defense

Is Lolicon Illegal in the United States?

January 14, 2023 by Mikel Rastegar in Criminal Defense  
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What is a Lolicon Anime?

In the U.S., lolicon and shotacon are no longer a topic of debate. Since the 1990s, federal and state lawmakers have sought ways to balance free speech and child porn. Federal laws in the U.S. make it illegal to own or share child pornography. Different countries and U.S. states have dealt with it in different ways.

Loli refers to sexually explicit anime or manga featuring young-looking, adorable female protagonists. Loli Anime is an image, often a cartoon, depicting young females engaging in sexual behavior. Some types of Loli Anime only depict children in sexualized poses. While the photographs may not specify that the persons represented are children, their proportions will be those of a kid. They are often depicted in clothing that indicates they are a child, such as a school uniform.

The Protect Act of 2003

The Protect Act of 2003, also called Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to Stop the Exploitation of Children Today, says that child pornography is any obscene image that shows a child who can be identified.

Under federal law, it is not illegal to have loli in your possession. However, it does break some state laws about child pornography if:

  • If anime or manga show an obscene image of a minor or the images don’t have any serious value, it is against the law to have loli.
  • The anime or manga was received by mail, sent through the internet or a common carrier, moved across state lines, or if there was an intention to sell or give it away.

The Protect Act was passed in response to a Supreme Court ruling that the First Amendment protected all pornographic drawings and animations. This kept lolicon and shotacon safe as long as it wasn’t deemed offensive. If someone makes a lot of lolis or has a lot of them, they will be treated as if they plan to sell them.

The court decided there were no victims because the pictures didn’t show real children. As a result of the ruling, the protect Act says that virtual child pornography could be obscene. It is illegal to send virtual lolicon over the internet, move it across state lines, or put together a lot of images or videos that could be used for distribution.

Is Lolicon Anime Illegal In California?

California law says that a real person must do the sexual Act shown under the age of 18, so there is no law about drawings, cartoons, or manga. If a real child is not used to make the image, then California’s laws against child pornography cannot be used.

Section 311.11 of the Penal Code also says:

The person who did it knows that the picture is of a child acting sexually or pretending to act sexually. If they don’t know that the person in the picture is a minor, they can’t be charged under PC 311.11, which says that a minor helped make the picture.

Given all this, California state law says that images that have been changed are “virtual” child pornography, not “real” child pornography. People can’t be found guilty of Loli Anime if they are tried under PC 311.11.

How to Determine Whether or Not the Loli Anime Is Obscene

In Miller v. California, the United States Supreme Court granted the jury a three-part standard to evaluate whether something is obscene. The following three requirements must be satisfied for the content to be considered obscene by law:

  • If the typical person, evaluating the work as a whole, would find it perverse or blatantly sexual, considering the prevailing social attitudes.
  • If the work shows sexual conduct in a manner that is insulting to the typical person.
  • If the work has no scientific, political, literary, or aesthetic merit, it may benefit society or compensate for its obscene or offensive content.

Possible Defenses to Charges of Child Pornography

If you are found guilty of child pornography, you could face serious jail time. If the state verifies its case against you, you could be in trouble for the rest of your life. A criminal defense lawyer can help you devise a plan to defend yourself against charges of child pornography. Some possible responses could be:

  • You thought that the people in the material were older than 18.
  • You got the material from someone else, but you didn’t ask for it (i.e., spam email).
  • You didn’t mean to look at the material online (you went to the wrong site), so you immediately deleted any downloads, history, and cookies to stop anyone else from doing so.

Your defense will depend on the facts of your case and the situation you are in. The facts and the law must be carefully examined to determine the best way to fight criminal charges.

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