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Police say Powell's child porn animation images were not a crime

Published: Friday, Feb. 10 2012 8:19 p.m. MST

"If the images are indistinguishable from actual children, it can be prosecuted under federal law. You may not have a real victim," but you have real child pornography, he said.

Amann, an assistant attorney general in the Utah Attorney General's Office, predicted as technology continues to evolve, the problem will get worse.

"It is a problem that will get increasingly worse as technology improves. Law enforcement has to be ever vigilant to protect children when there are so many people looking to expose them in this fashion."

For now, many experts in the animation industry believe that animated child porn in the United States is a miniscule part of the overall market.

"We don't see anything like that having even a remote mainstream appeal," said Ron Thompson, co-founder and publisher of Animation World Network, an online news organization that tracks the industry and showcases its work.

"I suspect, really, it would be like panning for gold in the United States."

Animation, he stressed, is expensive and complicated to produce — especially the type that could run afoul of the PROTECT Act.

Unfortunately, there's too much of the real thing to be had and profit, Diamond said, would not be a motivator.

The Ashcroft case dealt with questions surrounding the potential impacts of depictions of child pornography or pornography in general on individuals, but the laws in question were found to be overreaching.

The images pulled from Josh Powell's computer were seized at the beginning stages of the investigation into the disappearance of his wife, Susan Powell. Since then his father, Steven Powell, with whom he was living in Washington state, was arrested on child pornography and voyerism charges.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16

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