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Dutch News
OM tackles virtual child porno 2/21/2007
21 February 2007

AMSTERDAM – The public prosecution department (OM) wants to conduct trial court cases to generate jurisprudence on virtual child pornography on websites like Second Life. Jurisprudence is needed if the law is not clear on certain points, said Kitty Nooij in a report on the television news programme Netwerk on Tuesday. Nooij is in charge of the sex offences portfolio at the OM and one of her duties is to combat child pornography.

Second Life is an online digital world where participants can start a kind of parallel life. Netwerk reported that about three million people are “residents”. Some areas of Second Life allow members to have virtual sex with others who pretend to be children.

Psychologist Jos Buschman, affiliated with the Van Mesdag clinic in Groningen, said Second Life was “by definition a school for pedophiles.”

Virtual child pornography, in which the children portrayed are not actually abused, has been a criminal offence since 2002.

Since virtual sex with virtual children is slightly different from what has previously been defined, the OM will try to bring cases to court in future so that an investigation into the harmfulness of this kind of child pornography can be conducted and precedents can be set.

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