CBCNEWS B.C. to appeal child porn ruling

B.C. to appeal child porn ruling
WebPosted Tue Jan 19 17:35:04 1999

VANCOUVER -The British Columbia government is going to appeal a controversial court ruling on child pornography.

Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Duncan Shaw ruled that possession of child pornography should not be a crime. He said a law making possession a crime violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

B.C. Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh said Monday that the law is constitutionally sound. "Crown counsel will seek to expedite this appeal as this case may have significant impact on other similar cases before the courts," Dosanjh said.

John Sharpe was charged after police raided his home, in Surrey, in 1995. They seized CDs, pictures and writings about child pornography.

Sharpe defended himself in the case. He argued the sections of the code dealing with the possession of pornography violate his rights of privacy and freedom.

Justice Duncan Shaw agreed. He ruled that possessing child pornography for private use and not for distribution was constitutional. Shaw said the charges represented a threat to privacy and freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, warning posters are going up in Sharpe's neighbourhood. The poster says Sharpe was quoted in a newspaper as saying sex with children is acceptable if there is consent. It warns people to watch out for him.

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