US photographer convicted in Amsterdam

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Donald Mader, a renowned photographer [...], was convicted last December of publicly displaying pornographic photographs of minors. The case stemmed from a 1987 exhibit of his works at Intermale, a gay book store in Amsterdam. Police had raided the store and confiscated 15 of Mader's works.

Mader, a US citizen and former co-editor of Paidika, was the first person to be tried under the new Dutch child pornography law, which bans any nude depiction of a person younger than 16 if presented with erotic intent. A judge ruled that two of the 15 images were erotic, and hence illegal, and claimed, further, that the boys had been sexually abused. At the trial one of the boys, now an adult, testified that he had not been abused, but the judge disregarded this, stating that he was too young at the time to know.

Ironically, a more explicit exhibit of child and adolescent nudes was held in Amsterdam simultaneously with the Intermale show but was not raided. Many speculate that Dutch authorities wanted to try an American under the new child pornography law, since it was pressure sparked by the US government and the American gutter media that had prompted its passage in the first place.

The verdict was widely criticized in the mainstream press and denounced as irrational and promoting censorship, but there does not seem to be any move afoot to alter the strict porn law now that the Dutch age of consent has been lowered from 16 to 12. Indeed, it appears the government is using the Mader decision to expand prosecutions against Dutch pedophiles for importing simple nude images of children and adolescents from Germany, where nudist publications are freely available.

Though Mader's punishment was only a $300 fine, the verdict, now being appealed, may force the artist to leave The Netherlands.

source: 'US Photographer Convicted in Amsterdam'; Nambla Bulletin, Vol 12, No. 4; May 1991