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Owning RapeLay might be a federal offense

12:00 AM on 06.21.2009 // Conrad Zimmerman
  @ConradZimmerman

Time to start scrubbing those hard drives, kids. A recent article over at GamesPolitics suggests that owners of the controversial hentai title, RapeLay, could be found guilty of possessing child pornography in US courts.

This stems from a recent decision by the 4th US District Court of Appeals where the court refused to hear the appeal of Dwight Whorley of Virginia. While Whorley was convicted for possession of very real pornography of very real children, he was also charged on account of owning manga which depicted children and animals engaged in sexual acts.

Under the 2003 PROTECT Act, owning visual depictions of minors engaged in sexual activity -- regardless of the medium used or if the minor in question even exists -- can be considered a federal crime. Now, this may tempered by whether or not the item can be considered to have artistic or scientific value but it could all fall under that most mysterious of legal terms and be labeled "obscene." You know, whichever way works for the judge.

Under such guidelines, it is not outside the realm of possibility that the game be considered child pornography in the United States. The logical leap would not be an extreme one for a district attorney to go from hentai to hentai games to something like RapeLay. Since the entire plot of the game centers around raping a mother and her two underage daughters, I'm sure you'd have to dig deeper than an oil drill to convince an American judge of its artistic merits.



Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
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An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory



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