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Russian trans woman handed prison sentence she will ‘unlikely survive’ for sharing manga porn

Patrick Kelleher December 2, 2019
Trans woman arrested over hentai manga porn

Alexander Aksakov/Getty

A Russian trans woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for posting manga pornography on social media.

The woman, who has been named as 53-year-old doctor Michelle, was convicted of “distributing pornography depicting minors”, according to Meduza.

Experts are now concerned that Michelle may not survive her prison sentence as she will be housed in a men’s prison because she had not legally changed her gender.

Police opened a criminal investigation against Michelle in 2018, four years after she posted erotic manga drawings – also known as hentai – on social media. The profile had been inactive for at least a year when investigators opened a case into her use of hentai.

An expert group concluded that the hentai drawings were of minors without any actual evidence.

As a result of the case, Michelle lost her job as an endocrinologist at a children’s hospital in Russia.

The drawings were determined to be of minors following an “expert examination” which concluded that the characters had “not yet reached 14 years of age”. They also claimed that a boy depicted in the drawings was 12-years-old – however, the characters were not actually assigned ages by the artist.

The expert group that conducted the examination of the hentai, the Center for Sociocultural Expert Examinations, has also provided support for cases against punk band Pussy Riot.

A friend of Michelle’s called Lada Preobrazhenskaya told Novaya Gazeta that Michelle signed an agreement with police saying she would not flee. She also said that Michelle had turned down help in finding legal representation as she didn’t believe the accusations would lead to a conviction.

The trans woman did not believe she would be convicted over the drawings.

She also said that Michelle and her wife turned down help because they were afraid that the situation would become public.

She was later convinced by a court-appointed lawyer to take a plea deal – but ended up being sentenced to three years.

Michelle was not fully out as trans when police began investigating her use of hentai. Her friends said that her wife and colleagues were not aware of her gender identity.

Russia is often cited as a hostile environment for the LGBT+ community. In 2013, officials introduced their infamous “gay propaganda” law, which prohibits the promotion of homosexuality.

More: manga, porn, Russia, Trans

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