Mr Smith has been charged with possess child abuse material and has pleaded guilty at the Local Court. He was found in possession of 100’s of videos and photographs of child abuse material on his personal computer. The files were stored systematically and arranged in an order that represented the type of pornography in each folder (beastiality, domination, sadistic acts, etc).
There is no evidence that Mr Smith was producing child pornography, nor is there any evidence that he has committed an offence against a child himself. He is currently on bail and is due for sentence in the coming weeks.
You have been asked by his legal representative (defence) to conduct appropriate risk assessments and comment on the likelihood of this offender progressing from online pornography offences (hands off) to committing an offence against a child (hands on) and write a report of your findings. Your opinion must be centred around the current evidence of pornography and sex offenders or child abusers in the literature.
The defence would like your opinion as to which risk assessment tools you would use with this type of offender and their benefits / limitations in general, and in particular with online sex offenders.
They are also interested in the level of criminal responsibility this offender has, particularly as he has accessed pornography produced and distributed by others rather than producing this himself. They would like you to address the relevance of any remorse that Mr Smith may have expressed and comment on any specific mitigating factors that you may find relevant.
Finally, the defence has asked that you discuss treatment options that are available to this type of offender and how community treatment might benefit Mr Smith rather than simply imposing a custodial sentence.
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