Supreme Court won’t hear appeal of acquittal in case of alleged child pornography

The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the Crown’s appeal of the acquittal of a Quebec author who had been charged with producing child pornography because of fictional scenes in a horror novel.

The Quebec Superior Court ruled last September that certain articles of Canada’s child pornography laws cast too wide a net, targeting works of literature that don’t endorse or promote pedophilia.

The court said that under the law, libraries and book stores could potentially find themselves facing charges of possession or distribution of child pornography.

It ruled that two of the articles in the Criminal Code violate sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression and to life, liberty and security of the person.

Yvan Godbout had been charged with producing child pornography over passages found in his horror novel, Hansel et Gretel, which include scenes of sexual abuse of a minor-aged brother and sister.

In refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court indicated it did not have jurisdiction to consider the matter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2021.

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