Robin Sharpe to get two years minus a day for sexual assault
“I am the nation’s most notorious child pornographer,” Robin Sharpe states in the short bio posted to his website. “As a young boy, I was a nerd, a loner and religiously Anglican. I had no friends until my early teens and didn’t start to overcome my hypermoralism until I was liberated by booze, which has remained my drug of choice.”
The “hypermoralism” of which Sharpe speaks are the social mores that protect children from sexual exploitation. Sharpe has spent the past seven years challenging Canada’s anti-child-pornography laws. His previous cases have come before the Supreme Court of Canada, where he faced charges in relation to his fictional drawings and writings. Because his fiction reportedly did not involve actual children, and because his fiction contained”artisticmerit,” Canada’s highest court acquitted Sharpe of producing child pornography.
Nevertheless, this legal dynamic changed with the most recent charges to come before Canada’s judicial system. On July 18, the Supreme Court of British Columbia sentenced Sharpe to two years less a day. This time, the object of the charges was not restricted to acts of Sharpe’s imagination. Rather, Sharpe involved an actual child in the production of his child pornography.
What Sharpe calls liberation on his website, the courts called indecent assault. The assaults began when the unnamed boy was 11 years old. They continued for approximately two years. According a Canadian Press report, “The victim testified Sharpe paid him money, marijuana and cigarettes to pose in hundreds of photos and the pair eventually engaged in masturbation, oral sex and digital penetration.”
“There appears to be a different approach to child pornography and sexual assault,” Gwen Landolt stated when contacted by The Interim. Landolt, the national vice-president of REAL Women of Canada, continued: “The court was extraordinary lenient when (Sharpe) was charged with child pornography. The Liberal government and the courts appear to have a very broad tolerance of child pornography.” Landolt suggested that the meager penalty Sharpe received for possession of child pornography is evidence of this broad tolerance. “Freedom of expression seems to take precedence over everything else, including the protection of children.”
Yet, studies show that child pornography and sexual assault are equally damaging to children. “These studies show that child pornography leads to sexual assault,” Landolt explained. “For example, these studies show that pedophiles use child pornography to lure children into sexual activity with them. So, in fact, child pornography and sexual assault are one and the same in the sense that children are used to create child pornography – which is sexual assault.”
Landolt also dismissed claims that child pornography is harmless when it happens to be a work of fiction. “Even when it is only depictions of children, meaning actual children aren’t used, it is still potentially damaging to children,” she explained. Pedophiles often use these depictions to lure children into believing their sexual perversion is acceptable. Landolt also stated that these fictional depictions often encourage pedophiles to carry out their sexual fantasies on real children.
Advances in technology over the past decade have made children even more vulnerable to pedophiles like Sharpe. “Canada is the most highly wired nation in the world,” stated Landolt. “And, we have one of the lowest ages of consent for sexual activity. These two factors are making children especially vulnerable to pedophiles by way of the internet. Parents must monitor what their children are viewing on the internet and television and they must monitor the contacts their children make over the internet.”
She also said that parents and other concerned individuals should lobby their local memberd of Parliament for tougher legislation that protects children from child pornography.
For his part, Robin Sharpe appears both unrepentant and undaunted by his recent conviction for indecent assault, as he said he intends to appeal.