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Man's Child Porn Conviction Overturned Thanks to His 'Transgender Identity'

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A man who pleaded guilty to possession of sickening images of children as young as 5 years old posing naked and engaging in sexual activity had his conviction overturned thanks to an appeals court sympathetic to his transgender identity.

When Australian police busted then-18-year-old Vetea Joseph Bunton in 2016, they found a cache of 15 pictures on the man’s cell phone.

The photos were of children between the ages of 5 and 16, posing naked or engaging in sexual activity with adults or other youths.

Bunton pleaded guilty to possession of the images, but quickly challenged his sentence, in part over the claim that he only downloaded the photos while struggling with his gender identity.

An appeals court decided in September to overturn his conviction, though the court’s reasoning was not published until earlier this month.

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The three-judge panel on the Supreme Court of Queensland considered Bunton’s transgender status to be an important factor.

“The applicant acquired the images, according to the psychologist report, out of curiosity and at a time when she was struggling with issues concerning her transgender identity and sexual identity,” Justice Philip Morrison wrote in explaining the decision.

Bunton started downloading the pictures when he was around 14, but claims to have stopped viewing child pornography before turning 18.

He failed to explain, however, why he kept the sickening material into his adulthood.

Should this man be thrown in prison?

Another factor considered by Morrison in overturning the conviction revolved around the low number of images — a shocking decision considering that even possessing one piece of child porn is a heinous crime.

“There were only 15 images, 11 of which did not fall into category 4, the category applicable to images where sexual intercourse or oral penetration was depicted,” the ruling reads.

Despite the fact that there were only 15 images, the original sentencing judge slammed Bunton for the “serious nature of the offence.”

The original judge decided to record a conviction against Bunton because of the heinous nature of his crime.

He specifically argued that the crime’s seriousness overwhelms other factors like age, criminal history and any potential social implications.

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Thanks to a lenient appeals court, Bunton can now go on with his life safe in the knowledge that a child porn conviction won’t be following him around.

Unfortunately for Australians, it looks like their own court system just threw exploited children under the bus for the sake of progressivism.

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Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard and is a husband, dad and aspiring farmer.
Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He is a husband, dad, and aspiring farmer. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard. If he's not with his wife and son, then he's either shooting guns or working on his motorcycle.
Location
Arkansas
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Military, firearms, history




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