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Child sex doll trial in St. John's raises issue of what constitutes child porn

Kenneth Harrison - facing child pornography charged after he had a sex doll mailed to him - was back in provincial court in St. John's Tuesday for the resumption of his trial.
Kenneth Harrison - facing child pornography charged after he had a sex doll mailed to him - was back in provincial court in St. John's Tuesday for the resumption of his trial.

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A forensic psychiatrist says a child-size sex doll at the heart of a trial here meets the definition of child pornography. Dr. Peter Collins testified in provincial court Tuesday that the doll is the size of a prepubescent child without sexually mature characteristics.

Collins said the doll was advertised for sexual use and is anatomically incorrect in that its vaginal opening is large enough for a man's erect penis.

He said such items appeal to "pedophiliac subculture'' and are meant "to be fantasized as a prepubescent child.''

Collins began his testimony in the case back in January. But his earlier testimony was given under a voir dire and could not be published at that time. Since then Judge Mark Pike has ruled Collins can be considered an expert witness in the case and, as such, his testimony can be published.

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Forensic psychiatrist takes stand at St. John’s sex doll trial

Kenneth Harrisson, 51, of St. John's has pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing child pornography and mailing obscene matter.

He also faces two charges under the federal Customs Act of smuggling and possession of prohibited goods.

The doll was on its way to St. John's from Japan in 2013 when the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted it.

Key issues include whether the case constitutes child pornography if no actual child was involved.

It also raises the limits of free expression.

Collins testified as an expert witness and also quoted research by Michael Seto, a Canadian forensic psychologist who focuses on pedophilia.

Collins said some pedophiles can become "incited'' by imagery, such as sex dolls, while others may be satiated or satisfied before committing actual crimes. Outcomes differ according to many factors including stress, Collins testified.

The trial is scheduled to continue through Thursday and resume in court for two days starting April 6.

Collins said the doll was advertised for sexual use and is anatomically incorrect in that its vaginal opening is large enough for a man's erect penis.

He said such items appeal to "pedophiliac subculture'' and are meant "to be fantasized as a prepubescent child.''

Collins began his testimony in the case back in January. But his earlier testimony was given under a voir dire and could not be published at that time. Since then Judge Mark Pike has ruled Collins can be considered an expert witness in the case and, as such, his testimony can be published.

Related story

Forensic psychiatrist takes stand at St. John’s sex doll trial

Kenneth Harrisson, 51, of St. John's has pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing child pornography and mailing obscene matter.

He also faces two charges under the federal Customs Act of smuggling and possession of prohibited goods.

The doll was on its way to St. John's from Japan in 2013 when the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted it.

Key issues include whether the case constitutes child pornography if no actual child was involved.

It also raises the limits of free expression.

Collins testified as an expert witness and also quoted research by Michael Seto, a Canadian forensic psychologist who focuses on pedophilia.

Collins said some pedophiles can become "incited'' by imagery, such as sex dolls, while others may be satiated or satisfied before committing actual crimes. Outcomes differ according to many factors including stress, Collins testified.

The trial is scheduled to continue through Thursday and resume in court for two days starting April 6.

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