The article on ComiPress starts out in great detail of the case of Dwight Whorley, a man with previous child pornography convictions who was sentenced again for finding what he'd hoped was the answer to his prayers-- lolicon, a “kiddie porn” that was not in fact kiddie porn. It didn't work out for him, obviously.
The Whorley case provided some precedence for Handley's case, which is a bit clearer thanks to his lack of past convictions, at least as far as I know. Not to mention the bungling of the pre-trial work thanks to an officer who found that Handley had “ongoing access to material that represents the sexual abuse of children,” which referred to...any anime art.
This includes, among other things, the Gothic and Lolita Bible, GaoGaiGar, and a variety of hentai titles, all of which were officially released and therefore probably not particularly kiddie-porn-ish. That said, the court still decided to prohibit Handley from viewing or buying anime “video or written material” and made to go to a therapist.
I'm not entirely sure about the author of the article, a Lawrence A. Stanley, who may in fact also be Lawrence Allen Stanley, who is a well-known child pornography lawyer who has worked for NAMBLA and has actually been arrested for child pornography himself. It's unclear at this point whether he has any relation to the case itself. Take that as you will; his legal arguments still seem rather sound. I wonder where ComiPress got in touch with him?
That said, in the midst of all the Rapelay hubbub (about which we'll have another guest blog on Friday), it's interesting to remember other cases of censorship that aren't necessarily so clear-cut to anime and manga fans. What do you think about the Handley case?