Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

CDPP prosecutes child-like sex doll importation crimes

Year: 
2020-2021
Category: 
Human Exploitation and Border Protection
Location: 
Western Australia

Name: Andreas George STIEHLER

Date of Judgment: 25.9.20

Court: District Court of WA (Perth)

Partner Agency: Australian Border Force

Summary of charges:

One count of importing a tier 2 good, namely a silicone child sex doll, contrary to s 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth).

Synopsis:

Mr Stiehler ordered a child sex doll from China on 1 December 2019. The order was despatched the following day. Mr Stiehler immediately began tracking the parcel, which he continued to do until it was intercepted by Australian Border Force (ABF) officers. The doll’s height was assessed as representing a girl of between six and 10 years of age and chest development typically representing a girl of between 10 and 14 years of age. The consignment also contained accessories which were of a clear sexual nature.

After it had been intercepted, but prior to search and seizure warrants on his house, the offender alerted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and then ABF to self-report the importation.

During the search warrant at his property, ABF officers located 13 childlike, non-sexual female dolls in conjunction with a laptop. The offender’s explanation was that he ordered the sex doll to be added to his doll collection.

Analysis of the offender’s laptop by ABF subsequently revealed that the accused had, close to the offending, accessed sex doll websites and sex doll pornography sites. He also accessed websites about penalties for these types of offences. Officers also identified a small number of thumbnail images of child abuse material on the offender’s laptop.

Key points:

The sentencing Judge was satisfied, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the offender had a sexual interest in children and this was a reason for the offending. Further, her Honour accepted that even though a real victim was not involved, the offending was serious. Her Honour reiterated the submissions advanced by the prosecution about the heightened need for deterrent sentences given recent legislative amendments relating to child sex dolls. Explicit reference was made to the potential deleterious effect of child-sex dolls, which is supported by research and explicitly acknowledged by Parliament. Such research reveals that this type of offending may lead to escalation in child sex offending (eg. grooming) and, desensitising users from the potential harm that actual child sexual abuse causes. It may also lead to the sexual objectification of children.

Sentencing:

Mr Stiehler was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, to be released immediately on entering a recognizance release order, to be of good behaviour for two years, in the sum of $2,000. As a part of the recognizance, he has been ordered to undergo psychological counselling, supervision, not to travel interstate or overseas without written permission of a probation officer, and undertake treatment and rehabilitation programs as directed.

Relevant links:

You can read about a similar case on the ABC website.