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    UK Authorities Launch Child Sex Doll Crackdown After Hundreds Seized at Borders

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    Under new legal guidance issued by the CPS, importers could be jailed for up to seven years.

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has revealed since 2016 around 230 suspected child sex dolls have been seized by border authorities before they can be used by paedophiles, as they launch a "robust" crackdown on the industry.

    Normally purchased online, they are designed to be as anatomically close to a child in size, features and weight as possible — while some manufacturers claim the dolls prevent paedophiles committing sexual offences against actual children, charities have said there is no proof for the assertion and many buyers have previous convictions for possessing child pornography and/or sexually abusing children.

    ​"Children's charities and the National Crime Agency have called for tough criminal enforcement against the obscene objects, which are manufactured in a way that enables sex acts to be performed on them. While no law makes child sex dolls specifically illegal, the new guidance aims to help prosecutors utilise existing laws by classifying child sex dolls as ‘obscene'," a CPS spokesperson said.

    The rules mean importers can be charged under customs laws forbidding "indecent or obscene articles", with a maximum jail sentence of seven years — vendors and distributors will be punished with up to five years imprisonment under the Obscene Publications Act and sending the dolls by post will be considered a violation of the Postal Services Act 2000 and punishable by up to a year in prison.

    ​"There is a clear public interest in deterring those who sustain the market for obscene child sex dolls and the CPS would like to make clear that their sale or importation is a serious criminal offence. We will not hesitate to apply the law against anybody caught encouraging or indulging in this disturbing behaviour — and this guidance will aid our prosecutors to do just that," CPS director of legal services Greg McGill said.

    Excuses Excuses

    The measures are unveiled a mere day after a man from Devon who purchased such a doll online was jailed for possessing child abuse videos.

    Donald Styles, 61, claimed a child sex doll — which was 3 feet tall, and replete with realistic sex organs — he ordered from China was for an art project, an excuse sufficient for its passage through customs. However, the police almost immediately launched an investigation into Styles — and a raid on his home uncovered 149 films and images of child abuse (72 depicted rape). He was jailed for 18 months.

    ​"If you needed a doll, there were plenty you could have bought legally. There was no reason whatsoever it had to be a child sex doll. Your explanation is utterly ridiculous and I reject it completely. This offence is so serious that only immediate imprisonment is justified," Judge David Evans said.

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    Tags:
    child sex doll, paedophilia, sex doll, child sexual abuse, NCA, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), United Kingdom
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