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‘It’s a love doll,’ St. John's court told

Kenneth Wayne Harrisson (right) waits for his trial to start in provincial court in St. John’s Friday morning, while his lawyers Bob Buckingham and Brittany Whalen prepare in the background. Harrisson is charged with importing and possessing child pornography in connection with an alleged child sex doll he is said to have imported from Japan.
Kenneth Wayne Harrisson (right) waits for his trial to start in provincial court in St. John’s Friday morning, while his lawyers Bob Buckingham and Brittany Whalen prepare in the background. Harrisson is charged with importing and possessing child pornography in connection with an alleged child sex doll he is said to have imported from Japan.

Warning, this story contains graphic language. On the outside of the four-foot box, between strips of red and white evidence tape, are stickers, written in both Japanese and English.

“To protect inside, never use cutting tools to open box,” one reads.

On the bill of lading, also stuck to the box, is a description of its contents:

“Foam rubber dummy for massage practice.”

A more detailed description of what’s in the box is banned from publication, but it earned Kenneth Wayne Harrisson, 52, of St. John’s charges of importing and possessing child pornography.

The box was opened in a St. John’s courtroom Friday morning, during Harrisson’s trial. He has pleaded not guilty to four charges: one count each of possessing child pornography and mailing obscene matter, and charges under the federal customs act of smuggling and possessing prohibited goods.

RNC Const. Terry Follett of the Child exploitation Unit testified that Harrisson was arrested in March 2013, and Follett told him he was being charged because the contents of the box amount to child pornography.

“No it’s not, it’s a love doll,” Harrisson reportedly replied.

Having been alerted by Canada Border Services officials about the package, police conducted a “controlled delivery” of it to Harrisson’s downtown St. John’s home. Harrisson accepted the box, signed for it, and was arrested.

Follett presented information to the court from online service PayPal showing a payment Harrisson had made in December 2012 to a company in Japan for $1,009.36.

The Japanese website from which Harrisson is thought to have bought the doll sells lifelike female dolls in a range of ages, from adult to what it calls “innocent daughter,” all with removable vaginal inserts. A number of accessories, like underwear, make-up kits, hair and lubricant can be purchased separately. 

Follett told the court about the process that led to Harrisson’s arrest. He said Harrisson, at the time, didn’t understand why he was being arrested.

Defence lawyer Bob Buckingham questioned Follett on his note-taking over the course of the investigation, pointing out it was particularly detailed, but didn't contain any reference to communication with forensic psychiatrist Dr. Peter Collins in Toronto, who had been sent photos of the doll and asked for his opinion on whether or not it constituted child pornography. 

Collins, who previously testified in the trial, had sent his response directly to Follett.

Follett said he didn’t recall if it was had or the Crown who had contacted Collins, and couldn’t explain why he had no notes about it in his files.

Harrisson chuckled quietly to himself at certain points in Buckingham’s cross-examination of the police officer. 

Collins, testifying last July, said in his opinion, the doll represents child pornography.

“In my professional opinion, the possession of a sex doll is just another form of depicting a child for a sexual purpose and therefore would meet the criteria for child pornography,” Collins wrote in a report for the RNC.

“Psychologically, offenders use it for the same purpose.”

Buckingham will continue his cross-examination of Follett when Harrisson’s trial resumes Oct. 23.

 

Tara.bradbury@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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