COLIN NUGENT has lost a supreme court appeal against a child pornography charge, after being caught with magazines from the 1980s depicting drawings and text of paedophilia.
Nugent, AKA Harry Holland AKA Emu Nugent, was fined $3000. He’d argued the copies of Rockspider magazine should be exempt from child porn laws as they represent an important sociological and historical primary source covering the sexual revolution. The law provides exemption for material “of recognised literary, artistic or social merit” if it’s justified in the public good.
Expert evidence from academics the magazines were “historical artefact[s] of a very different social and political period” was not allowed to be presented.
Nugent is a self-described paedophile, which he defines as a sexual orientation “to describe gay men who are sexually attracted to youths”. He maintains it is possible for men to enter non-abusive relationships with youths.
“The whole issue of men sexually abusing is never going to be solved until we have this conversation,” he says.
Following are excerpts from expert reports that Nugent had hoped to tender.
Terry Leahy from the University of Newcastle, whose PhD is in child adult sexual relationships, says the magazines “are very likely the only copies of this publication remaining from that time and as such are a significant part of Australia’s historical and social record…”. “The period covered by these journals was unique. The ‘sexual revolution’ as it was then called… was now being claimed for paedophilia. Not just in Australia but internationally, paedophiles linked their own problems to the repression of children’s sexuality and supported the rights of children to sexual expression… These magazines constitute one of the few written records of this phenomenon.” Dr Leahy wrote the magazines also had accounts from paedophiles who’d had dealings with the police and prison system and said “these are hardly likely to recruit people to commit paedophile acts, and in large measure constitute a warning not to follow in the footsteps of those who are reporting their experiences”.
Steven Angelides from La Trobe University agreed Rockspider was “part of the social and political sexual liberation movement that swept right across western societies in the 1970s and early 1980s”. He said Rockspider was “an historical artefact of a very different social and political period”. “I recognise that copies of the magazine Rockspider have literary and scientific merit and that it is in the public interest, and for the public good, that Rockspider be available to be studied. To destroy such historical records would make important scholarly work impossible.”
Graham Willett from the University of Melbourne said, “however shocking some might find this material, it is of inestimable importance to historians, sociologists and all those interested in understanding our society and its past in all its diversity”. Of the naked drawings, Dr Willett said “clearly no child was harmed or exploited in the production of these images”. “While it is possible that some readers may find some of the stories and images sexually titillating in the context of the magazine as a whole and in the context of the historical and political period, this aspect is simply insignificant to the assessment of the value of the magazines.”
by DAVID BELL