Two inmates in Seagoville’s federal facility are accused of having drawings of girls engaging in sex acts. Such depictions were outlawed in 2003.
Two men already in the Seagoville federal prison for child pornography convictions have been slapped with new charges of possession of obscene material for having drawings and writings showing children being sexually abused.
Experts say that such offenders are using pencil and paper to fulfill their urges while behind bars, where the inmates pass the amateur comic books among themselves and sell them.
Seagoville inmates Danny Borgos, 27, and John R. Farrar, 56, are accused of having several drawings of girls depicted as being as young as 6.
A 2003 federal obscenity law makes it illegal to possess child pornography drawings, and a federal appeals court in 2008 upheld the nation’s first conviction under that law.
For a child pornography charge, the children have to be real. But drawings, paintings, writings, sculptures and other depictions of children being sexually abused fall under the obscenity law, known as the Protect Act, if they are shown to lack serious scientific, literary, artistic or political value.
But some question whether the law goes too far.
James Cantor, Ph.D, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and an international expert on pedophilia, said child pornography laws are intended to protect actual people.
“When talking about a drawing, who’s the victim?” he asked. “We feel these are icky. But icky is not a real reason to pass a law.”
Borgos was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in Dallas last month for having the comic book. That was more time than he got for having actual child pornography.
He was serving a five-year sentence for a 2013 conviction out of New York for possessing and distributing child pornography. In that case, Borgos discussed online his “desire to rape prepubescent children and the excitement he derives from the children’s pain,” court records show.
That prior case boosted the statutory minimum sentence for the new conviction.
A prison guard was about to search a cell in October 2014 when he saw Borgos and another inmate sitting at a table in front of the cell, according to court records.
Borgos had a 37-page comic book that said “Kidskin COMIXXX” on the cover. The title was “Three Daughters Pt. 1.” The comic book featured drawings of three girls, ages 6, 9 and 11, who are engaged in sexually explicit conduct, with captions that tell a lurid story.
Borgos told prison authorities the book was his and that another inmate made the drawings for him and offered to draw more.
More recently, on May 5, Farrar was found at the Seagoville prison with at least six drawings, some titled “Family Night” and “Extra Credit,” which showed young girls being sexually abused, according to federal court records. He was indicted on Nov. 4.
Federal authorities also seized two books of writings about the sexual abuse of minors from Farrar. One of them was hidden inside the cover of a paperback book, court records show.
Farrar, a Massachusetts downtown revitalization consultant, was convicted in that state in 2007 of possessing and transporting child pornography and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In that case, Farrar told an undercover FBI agent online that “I love them all, infant to 13,” court records show.
It’s unclear whether similar comics, drawings and writings are being distributed among other inmates in the Seagoville prison. The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the cases, “due to this matter currently being in litigation.”
Local attorneys say they can’t remember the last time someone in North Texas was prosecuted under the 2003 federal obscenity law for having child pornography drawings.
But Amy Phenix, Ph.D., a forensic psychologist in California who provides expert court opinions on sex offender evaluation, said such material is not unusual in a prison setting.
“They want something to arouse themselves,” Phenix said.
Lyn Williams, training director for the Austin-based Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, said such material would be a “valuable commodity in prison.” For some, it’s like getting a joint or heroin, he said.
“It’s reinforcing their behavior,” he said about the comics. “That’s not going to help when they get out.”
But Cantor said government shouldn’t pass a law based on an “emotional gut reaction.”
“Good public policy comes from minimizing and eliminating harm,” Cantor said.
The question of the legality of child sex comics has been settled in federal court, where First Amendment arguments have consistently failed.
In 2005, Dwight Whorley of Virginia became the first person convicted under the 2003 obscenity law. A federal appeals court upheld the conviction in 2008.
Whorley used a state computer to download Japanese anime cartoons showing young girls having sex with men. Whorley, who spent time in jail for previous child pornography charges, got 20 years in prison.
In another noted case, an Iowa comic book collector, Christopher Handley, was arrested after Japanese manga comic books showing children being sexually abused were mailed to him.
Handley was convicted in 2010 under the federal obscenity law after unsuccessfully challenging it during his trial. He did not have a criminal record and was given six months in prison. It was the first time someone was sent to prison for owning comic books, according to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
His attorney argued that there was no evidence the drawings represented any actual people and that they were “purely a product of the artist’s imagination,” court records show.
Handley’s attorney said that fictional characters in cartoons have no age. He said the indictment violated the First and Fifth Amendments.
But U.S. District Judge James E. Gritzner said in his ruling that Handley was confusing child pornography laws with obscenity laws. Child pornography offenses require the depiction of an actual minor while obscenity offenses do not, he said.
“Obscene materials are afforded no protection under the First Amendment,” Gritzner said in his ruling.
Our Children are placed in harms way by Our Courts
Instead of paying for their crimes against Our Children, Child Predators are being released back into society to steal the Futures of more and more Children.
Why???? Because sympathetic Judges and a corrupt system do not prosecute these perverse individuals for all their crimes, nor do they hand out maximum sentences for what they do prosecute them for.
Take Sub-Way Jared for example, he drew 15 years. 15 years for Child Pornography and having sex with underage girls. He will also pay $1.4 million to 14 victims in restitution for counseling, support, treatment, or other assistance related to their victimization.
A man with fortune, fame and a heartwarming story, who had established a foundation in his own name to help children combat obesity, was seeking out sex with children — “the younger the girl the better,” he wrote, according to court documents.
The Child Pornography charge carries a 20 year maximum, and the sex with an underage girl carries a 30 year maximum.
There were at least 14 victims, but even at the 30 + 20, he got off 35 years light.
Did any of you realize that he could still be charged with Child Rape???? I didn’t think so….
NOW, let’s really make sure all of you know just exactly how it is.
Some of the most famous studies in the field — like a 2009 report by psychologists with the Federal Bureau of Prisons that found a connection between child pornography possession and the molestation of minors — are disputed because they focus on small sample sizes of imprisoned offenders.
OH, YOU DIDN’T REALIZE THAT ALL THIS “KNOWLEDGE” ON PERVERSE SUB-HUMANS THAT PSYCHOLOGIST BASE THEIR FINDINGS ON, CAME FROM IMPRISONED CHILD PREDATORS VOLUNTEERING THEIR TIME TO TELL THE “HONEST-TO-GOD-TRUTH” TO THESE PSYCHOLOGIST FOR THEIR STUDIES????
The federal mandatory minimum sentences for sex crimes against children can be steep. Although Judges disagree with these guidelines more often than those for any other crime.
On August 27, 2015, Damian Merrick was given a trespass notice saying he was violating terms of his bond. This news article is from September 10, 2015, since that time Merrick has violated his bond 3 more times by being at the same location as his victims, and also being near Children. The 3rd time was just announced at 10:30 pm, November 11, 2015.
Dallas, TX – A man who used to own a volleyball club in Grapevine is accused of sexually assaulting three girls who played for his club, police say.
Damian Merrick, 48, has been arrested three times in the past year. His first arrest, on May 7, was on a charge of delivering marijuana to a child. Police tacked on a sexual assault charge in July, saying Merrick raped a 16-year-old girl in a bathroom at her Grapevine home while her parents were away, the Star-Telegram reported.
On Wednesday afternoon, authorities arrested Merrick on two more counts of sexual assault of a child. One of the new charges stipulates that he can’t bond out of jail.
Sgt. Robert Eberling, a spokesman for Grapevine police, said all three of the alleged victims were teenagers and members of the Grapevine Volleyball Club.
“He’s in a position where he had direct contact with the victims due to the nature of the business that he owned with his partners,” Eberling said. “That makes them [the athletes] certainly vulnerable in those circumstances.”
Merrick, who ran the club with other people, is no longer listed as an owner, Eberling said
The University of Georgia School of Law is launching the first legal clinic in the nation to assist victims of child sexual abuse, thanks to a gift from an alumnus, Atlanta plaintiffs lawyer Marlan Wilbanks.
Wilbanks declined to say how much he is donating, but he said it’s a “substantial gift” that will be ongoing. He also plans to be personally involved in the clinic. “This is going to be a lifelong commitment for me,” he said.
The clinic, called the Wilbanks Center for Child Sexual Assault and Exploitation Survivors, will both assist adult survivors of child sexual abuse in filing civil suits and help children to gain protection from their abusers, he said.
Wilbanks is a longtime advocate for preventing child sexual abuse and helping survivors because his mother is a survivor of sexual abuse by her father. He said she was able to disclose her abuse only when she was well into adulthood, in her late 40s, which is common for many survivors.
“She has gone from being a victim to being an unbelievable advocate,” Wilbanks said. “She is my hero, and I want to continue her legacy.”
His mother, Marilyn Motz, helped to start the Habersham County chapter of Prevent Child Abuse and Wilbanks is on the board of an Atlanta advocacy group, VOICE Today.
Both pushed for new Georgia legislation that went into effect July 1 extending the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil suits—an impetus for the new clinic, which will open in the spring semester.
Wilbanks said the clinic will also help children gain injunctive relief—for instance, by helping victims secure protective orders to get abusers out of their home.
“This is not just helping people bring lawsuits for dollars,” Wilbanks said. “I want to create a system that creates safety for people—and make sure predators get prosecuted.”
The dean of UGA’s law school, Peter “Bo” Rutledge, said the new law, HB 17, known as the Hidden Predators Act, makes it particularly appropriate for a public law school to step in. “The General Assembly wants to open the courthouse doors to these type of claims,” he said.
The new legislation allows victims to file civil claims at a much older age. Before, they only had until they turned 23. “The average median age of victims for when they are psychologically able to deal with what happened to them, like my mother, is over 40 years old,” Wilbanks said.
HB 17 initially eliminates the statute of limitations until July 1, 2017, creating an open window in which victims may file claims. After that it allows two years from when “the plaintiff knew or had reason to know of such abuse and that such abuse resulted in injury to the plaintiff as established by competent medical or psychological evidence.”
Wilbanks’ initial gift, Rutledge said, will help fund a clinic director’s salary and fellowships, which could be summer jobs for law students or term-time jobs for law graduates.
The law school is conducting a search for a clinic director. Rutledge said the initial goal is to have six to eight students working in the clinic per term.
The clinic will add to the law school’s experiential learning offerings, he said, giving students the chance to serve as advocates for Georgians without adequate legal resources.
Wilbanks said it’s insufficient to rely on police, government prosecutors and the state child protective agency to protect children from sexual abuse. “Calling the cops does not immediately get the father or other family member out of the house. You do not get the injunctive relief,” he said, and intervention from the Division of Family and Child Services may not be effective.
“Nobody is advocating for the child,” Wilbanks said, adding that abuse victims often have very little money to hire lawyers. “Private attorneys need to get involved.”
Besides offering legal services, the clinic could serve as a liaison with the private bar, he said.
A child being abused in the home is often afraid to say anything, Wilbanks added. For this reason he envisions the UGA legal clinic partnering with medical providers and social services groups that assist sexual abuse victims.
“We want to connect the victims to their legal rights and identify their sexual predators,” he said. “They are falling through the safety net.”
The other impetus for Wilbanks’ gift was a big win in a whistleblower case. Wilbanks and other lawyers brought a Medicare fraud case against a dialysis chain, Da Vita Healthcare Partners, which resulted in a $495 million settlement earlier this year, including $45 million for legal fees and costs.
Another plaintiffs lawyer on the DaVita case, UGA Law graduate Stacey Godfrey Evans, also used some of her fee to make a big gift to the law school. Evans donated $500,000 in July to fund a scholarship for law students who, like herself, are first-generation college graduates.