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CBLDF Releases Short Documentary About American Charged With Posessing ‘Obscene’ Manga Images [Video]

In 2010, Canadian customs officers discovered manga images on vacationing U.S. citizen Ryan Matheson’s laptop and found them offensive enough to throw him in jail. Matheson contended those images were mainstream drawings from art books, but he was accused of possessing child pornography and spent days in jail before making bail. The subsequent legal proceedings lasted more than a year and cost Matheson somewhere in the area of $75,000. As ComicsAlliance has previously reported, Matheson avoided a criminal trial through a plea agreement.

This week, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which has raised about $40,000 to pay off Matheson’s legal debts, released a 13-minute documentary about the case titled “Defending Manga: The Ryan Matheson Story.” You can watch the entire documentary, which features interviews with Matheson and CBLDF’s Charles Brownstein, as well as images of some of the material Matheson was arrested for possessing, after the jump.

The CBLDF’s blog post accompanying the release of the documentary states that Matheson has about $24,000 in debt still left to pay.

The post also quotes Matheson in regards to why he feels the documentary is necessary:

“I am very glad to share a little bit of insight into the events of my case that ended last year. My hope is that more and more people at least become aware of the serious issues that my case touched upon. If my experiences can save even one innocent person from having to undergo aggressive unwarranted searches or wrongful treatment like I did, then I feel that all the effort was worth it.”


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