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MAN TARGETED AFTER DISMISSAL OF PORN CASE

The Vancouver man who won the dismissal of kiddie porn charges after a Supreme Court justice in British Columbia struck down the law as unconstitutional has become the target of anti-pornography activists who have posted warning signs around his neighborhood.

The posters contain a picture of John Sharpe and his address and suggest that he poses a danger to children, even though he has never been charged with a violent crime.

"I have never been arrested or charged for anything to do with children -- aside from the pornography," he said. "I have always tried to behave as a law-abiding citizen."

However, to others, child pornography is, by definition, abusive.

"To make child pornography, you have to abuse a child," said Kathleen Mahoney, a law professor at the University of Calgary.

The case against Sharpe, 65, began in 1995 when he was returning to Canada from Amsterdam via Seattle.

U.S. Customs agents discovered Sharpe was carrying 10 photos of nude teen-age boys and a collection of short stories he had written entitled, "Sam Paloc's Flogging," "Fun and Fortitude" and "A Collection of Kiddie Kink Classics."

Canada Customs was notified and confiscated the material when Sharpe crossed the border into Canada. A year later, three police officers raided his Vancouver apartment and seized 14 boxes of books, computer disks and writings.

Though two lawyers told Sharpe to simply plead guilty to the charges, he decided to argue his case himself.

In a pretrial ruling on the constitutionality of the charges, Justice Duncan Shaw of British Columbia's Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that laws banning "simple possession" of kiddie porn are an unconstitutional assault on freedom of expression.

The law, Shaw wrote, "extends to all persons, including those who make no harmful use of pornography," to pedophiles who make private use of mildly erotic materials for "relief from their affliction" and even newspapers that "may contain some material said to be pornographic."

Since the ruling, Shaw has received at least one death threat by phone. As a result, British Columbia's Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh announced that he will order increased security for the justice.

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