Yes, he's now got a criminal record, will spend six months in jail, lose his collection and his computer, and must undergo psychological testing and lie-detector tests designed to treat him for gender identity disorders and other mental health issues. (source)
How the sweet fuck does that make any sense, to anybody? There's no proof, or even suggestive evidence, suggesting that people who read/watch/play illegal activities go out and do illegal things. What we have here is an attempt to protect imagined children from imagined threats.
I'm kind of used to this sort of bullshit in the Australian nanny state, like the time a man was convicted for posessing porn of the Simpson family) but this recent news is from one of the last bastions of free speech, the USA.
Neil Gaiman goes into some significant detail in response to a girl who asks him why this conviction is a problem, if it prevents even one minor from suffering sexual harm.
Quote by Neil Gaiman:...that's what makes the kind of work you don't like, or don't read, or work that you do not feel has artistic worth or redeeming features worth defending. It's because the same laws cover the stuff you like and the stuff you find icky, wherever your icky line happens to be: the law is a big blunt instrument that makes no fine distinctions, and because you only realise how wonderful absolute freedom of speech is the day you lose it.
I do think his conviction is an outrage. Sending someone to jail for fictional crimes is no different from thought control: don't think it, don't read it, don't write or draw it. I think my vocabulary would be reduced to "fuck you, fuck you" if I were ever subjected to psychologists trying to help me get over my love of virtual crime.
Just so you know, these comics - which are sold in convenience stores in Japan, look like this:
Yeah, I've owned books like this. I've even sold them to Americans like the poor guy we're talking about. What now, assholes? You're gonna arrest me 'cause I remember the art in these books?