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Crown wants to ban the public from courtroom when sex doll is exhibited

The trial of a man accused of mail-ordering a child sex doll has been set over until October, when the Crown will argue that the public should be banned from the courtroom when the doll is taken out of the box.

Bob Buckingham

The trial of Kenneth Wayne Harrisson, 52, adjourned Friday afternoon after defence lawyer Bob Buckingham wrapped up his cross-examination of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Peter Collins.

Collins testified that in his opinion, the doll — which he described as being about four feet tall without sexually mature characteristics and advertised on the manufacturer’s website for sexual use — constitutes child pornography.

According to police, the doll has accessories that could be used for sexual gratification.

“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.”

Photo of restaurant statue a focus at child sex doll trial

Next to take the stand in the trial is Const. Terry Follett of the RNC’s Child Exploitation Unit, who will bring the box containing the doll back to the courtroom.

Crown prosecutor Patricia Carpenter told Judge Mark Pike Friday she would look to have the public excluded from the courtroom when the doll is shown.

“Why should I do that?” Pike replied. “The legal presumption of open court is very strong. A publication ban is one matter, but whether a person should be able to come forward and see justice done is a separate thing.”

Carpenter said the issue at hand is whether or not the doll does, in fact, constitute child pornography. If it’s found that it does, “the court is allowing it to be viewed and essentially distributing it.”

Harrisson has pleaded not guilty to one count each of possessing child pornography and mailing obscene matter, as well as two charges under the federal Customs Act: smuggling and possessing prohibited goods.

He was charged in March 2013 after police performed a “controlled delivery” of the box containing the doll, which was addressed to Harrisson and sent from a Japanese company — which was on Canada Border Services’ watch list — to Harrisson’s St. John’s home.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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