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Child Porn Offenders Escape Jail Sentences

ONLY about one in eight NSW men convicted of child pornography offences is sent to jail, a study has found.
Of 62 offenders caught with illicit sexual images of children between 2000 and 2004, eight received full-time custodial sentences, the study, by the Australian Institute of Criminology, showed.
Of a further 11 people dealt with for the more serious offence of publishing child porn, only one landed behind bars full-time - for three months.
Thirty-five of the 73 men convicted were placed on good behaviour bonds and of those, only 15 were made to undergo any form of supervision as a condition of punishment, the research found.
Eleven had suspended sentences, seven were ordered to perform community service, four were fined and three had their charges dismissed.
All cases studied were before NSW local courts.
For the period of the survey, the maximum penalty for possession of child pornography was two years' jail, an $11,OOO fine, or both.
For publishing the same material, offenders potentially faced up to five years' jail, a $110,000 fine, or both.
State Parliament increased the penalties to five- and 10-year maximums in November, following public outrage generated by the nation- wide child porn crackdown, Operation Auxin.
But after publication of the new data, shadow attorney-general Andrew Tink said it would be up to magistrates to make full use of the amendments and take a harder line.
So far, 66 people have been arrested in NSW and 143 charges laid as a result of Auxin, in which detectives executed 168 search warrants and seized pornography more than 70 times.
Those charged include two police officers, one of whom worked at the force's sex crimes squad, a DOCS officer, school teachers, a doctor, a Salvation Army youth worker and an army major.
Mr Tink said the Government now had to monitor the judicial outcomes of the massive police operation.

The Sun Herald (23-1-2005)
John Kidman

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