Aussie Dad Convicted In ‘Unusual’ Child Porn Case Raises Questions About Sexting Laws

  1. Home
  2. Life
By Vanessa Brown | 9:10 am, October 10, 2016

A man has been convicted with possessing child pornography, and placed on the sex offenders register after he kept nude photographs of his stepdaughter that she had sent to her boyfriend because he wanted police and her school to take action.

Victorian man Ashan Ortell, 57, said he only kept the images so that he could report his then 15-year-old stepdaughter to police for sending sext messages to her boyfriend.

But after ignoring advice from officers to delete the pictures — who advised that keeping them was an offense — the man was arrested and charged.

Police raided his home in 2013, seizing a computer and storage device which contained the images.

Mr Ortell was sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour bond for copying 18 images onto a computer and USB drive.

Victorian County Court Judge Jane Patrick said the case was “unusual” and different to any other child porn cases heard by the court.

“This is a very unusual case,” Judge Patrick said.

“The law says that people may not keep images of a sexual nature of children. Usually such images are kept for sexual motivation.

“That is not the case in your situation. You kept the images, I am satisfied, because you were very concerned about what had been going on and foolishly decided that this was the way to deal with it

“Nevertheless the message has to get out to everybody that sexual images of children must not be kept on computers or any other form of equipment.”

From now on, Mr Ortell must hand over all computer logins to authorities, as well as notify police if he wishes to take a holiday that extends longer than a weekend.

He decided to keep the images sent by his stepdaughter, by copying 18 pictures to a USB and computer in a bid to get police to investigate the matter further.

Mr Ortell told the Herald Sun that he didn’t even know what he had done qualified as possessing child pornography.

“I didn’t even understand it fell under child pornography,” Mr Ortell said.

“I also made a copy for the school and the police. The police then interviewed me and my stepdaughter separately but said it appeared to be consensual.

“No one told me that this is child pornography so delete it. My solicitor made the point ‘why would he go to the police if he had anything to hide?

“I didn’t create this stuff, I didn’t distribute it. By law it’s mandatory that they put you on this register. But I could tell that the judge didn’t really want to do it,” he added.

This article was originally published on news.com.au

Advertisement