20:46 GMT29 May 2020
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    A South Australian man has been charged with owning a child-like sex doll under new laws passed by the South Australian Parliament last year banning the objects.

    The 30-year-old man, whose identity has not been revealed, is the first person to be charged in the Australian state for such an offense. He was charged on January 14 after police were alerted, with the help of PayPal Australia, that he bought the sex doll from China in December 2018. 

    The man’s home in South Australia was searched by authorities on Tuesday and they seized the doll, his computer, his mobile phone and his bank card, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported. The man also allegedly had child pornography on his computer.

    The man has been charged with one count of owning a child-like sex doll and one count of possessing child abuse material, ABC reported. If convicted, the man could face 15 years in prison. He has been released on bail and will appear at the Naracoorte Magistrates Court on March 27.

    According to research by the Australian Institute of Criminology, the possession and use of such child-like sex dolls can objectify children as sexual beings and make them more vulnerable to physical, emotional and psychological harm.

    "Some dolls are even robotic and designed to respond positively to the abuse," Gail McClure, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) acting superintendent for crime operations in South Australia, is quoted as saying.

    "The Australian Federal Police does not condone any form of child exploitation, or activity of any kind that reinforces the sexualization of children. This includes sexual gratification activity using items depicting children — these anatomically correct dolls are legally considered child exploitation material. This arrest highlights the collaborative work undertaken by the AFP and its partners to protect children and identify and prosecute anyone who seeks to exploit and harm them."


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