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Live 5 investigates: Cartoon child porn - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Live 5 investigates: Cartoon child porn

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

It's the new face of child pornography.

Molesters are downloading cartoon images of children having sex with adults.

A cartoon girl performs a sex act on a man.

When it's over, fireworks go off, balloons are released, and the man claps.

Possessing the video alone isn't illegal, but what is how you get it, and how you use the video.

"Offenders collect the material, they expose children to it that they want to molest, it lowers the child's inhibitions and it normalizes sex acts. That's what it's used for and therefore, isn't a victimless crime," said Camille Cooper of the National Association to Protect Children.

Not everyone agrees with Cooper.

At the Virginia Court of Appeals, federal defense attorney Robert Wagner once argued in a landmark case that animated child pornography is and should remain legal.

In 2004, Wagner defended Dwight Whorley.

Whorley, a registered sex offender, went to the Virginia Employment Commission office and downloaded 20 cartoon images of female children forced to have sex with men.

Since he used the Internet to receive the pornography, he was prosecuted under federal law.

"Dwight Whorley got 20 years for that offense and I think that was unconscionable. In animated child pornography videos, there is no victim and there's no exploitation of children," said Wagner.

There is no indication Whorley molested children.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Special Agent Farand Wasiak said predators do use the cartoons as a tool to get kids to have sex with them.

"They're never told from their parents that cartoons can be bad, so when a child's watching the cartoon, they naturally think this is an okay thing to do," Wasiak explained. "Of course, they're going to get de-sensitized towards this because they are watching a cartoon with an adult. The predator is hoping this is gonna lead, this is a building process, one step's going to lead to another."

Cartoon child porn; another reason Wasiak said parents need to keep a close eye on what their kids are watching on line.

"Make sure you know the company your child keeps. Because if you're not watching your kid, I can guarantee you somebody else is," he said.

Wasiak said chances are if someone has animated child porn on the computer, they most likely also have real child porn on there too.

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