Man avoids jail after being caught with six ‘child-like sex dolls’ in his home

A man who had bought six child-like sex dolls was charged after Border Force officers spotted a shipment of a similar item being sent to him from China.

The 46-year-old man, from Brisbane Australia, has not been named by the authorities. During a search of the suspect’s house, police also found a laptop containing child abuse images and other material.

After being arrested under Commonwealth laws targeting behaviour related to child abuse, he faced a court on Wednesday, April 21.

He was found guilty of two counts of possessing a child-like sex doll or other object that resembles a child under 18, attempting to possess a child-like sex doll, and possessing child exploitation material.

He was the first person in Queensland to be charged and sentenced for the new offence, which came into effect in Australia in September 2019 as part of the Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Act 2019. The maximum penalty for offences under the act is 10 years imprisonment.

In this case, reports WA Today, the defendant was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, but released immediately on a two-year $2000 (£1115) good behaviour bond.

In 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available, 78 child sex dolls were seized in Australia alone, and experts fear this is only the tip of the iceberg.

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In the same year, UK authorities seized 128 child sex dolls arriving in the country.

Sex dolls made to resemble quite young children and even babies are freely available for purchase online. Some examples have even in the past been spotted for sale on mainstream sites such as Amazon.

In the UK, it is not illegal to possess a child sex doll. However anyone importing them into the country is potentially liable for prosecution as the dolls could be classified as "obscene goods”.

Some advocates say that the dolls should remain available because they could be used to help paedophiles overcome their compulsions.

However, the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) claimed child sex robots could be used to groom real children for sexual abuse. In a 2019 report, the AIC said child sex dolls "may desensitise the user from the potential harm child sex assault causes, given such dolls give no emotional feedback."

Researchers fear because the dolls are so “life-like" in appearance, they are putting actual children in harm's way.

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