Infamous dotcom-founder/sex predator raises $12 on Kickstarter


#1

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#2

I kind of doubt his potential donors all fled because they learned of his criminal past. Even the internet isn't that efficient. Is it possible it was just a lousy kickstarter?


#3

Why do all bloody child molesters come to Marbella? Is there a degenerate magnet or what?!


#4

Even the lousiest, scam-iest Kickstarters I've seen have managed to at least earn a few dollars from someone else. Although he used the pseudonym "Morgan von Phoenix" in this case, so I suppose we can't blame recognition of his criminal past here. I guess it really was that lousy - I suppose people aren't inclined to give nearly a half-million dollars for a "subscription manga" service with no sample content in a world that already has plenty of good web comics.


#5

OMG. Something about DEN in the past made me seek out the pilot episode to "Chad's World".

Woah what horrible rubbish. The guy that played Stiffler in American Pie was in it.


#6

I just checked, and yep, it's a shitty Kickstarter. No sample art, no business plans, nothing but some text docs that he wants to turn into comics if he can find an artist. Oh, and he wanted $430k to put some comics on a website. Just one block of text with some vague ideas for maybe putting content online.

There is no way in hell I would have backed that.

Apparently the guy is afraid of the word "Years", as many of the rewards are broken up into "12 month" segments. Amusingly, he has reward levels for 50 and 100 "12 month" subscriptions.

I have to wonder if he was this lazy/incompetent with his original dot com venture too? Might explain how it imploded so badly, although it doesn't explain how he go someone to fund it in the first place.


#7

My gosh I wonder how nobody snapped up that one. Didn't they realize how venerable and respected a web-toon with 100 twelve months of tradition will be? Probably a bargain. but only if the donor is a small child.

EDIT: Wait, this kickstarter failed two years ago. Slow news day?


#8

Wait, this kickstarter failed two years ago. Slow news day?'

No. Someone just decided to check up on him recently (says so in the article...) and see what had happened to him, and this was probably the only interesting bit worth sharing.


#9

Never understood this deal about 'across state lines' in the USA. What difference does it make? Is the crime, whatever it is, worse or not as bad?


#10

It can turn what would otherwise be a state crime into a federal crime. I'm not sure how much difference it makes in this case (probably not much), but I don't think there are many cases where the feds go easier on someone than the state.


#12

Oh, I get the federal bit, but that's just begging the question. It has just stuck an adjective on it.

What I don't get is why it matters. Is the crime greater or lesser? Is the punishment greater or lesser? Does it depend on the crime?

Why - in particular - is transporting a minor across a state line for sexual purposes worse (or not as worse - I really don't know which it is) than using a minor for sexual purposes within a single state? Is it OK in some states or something?


#13

IANAL (and I probably shouldn't have acronymed that), but I believe it has to do with a few factors:

1) "another thing we can use to throw the book at them", especially for cases of human trafficing
2) edge cases. Obviously, a 30 year old having sex with a 12 year old is illegal no matter what. But let's say it's a 19 year old and 17 year old. If they happened to be in the same town, it could just be a case where they connected and hit it off and, well, things happened. Maybe that's even the most likely scenario. And if that's the case, they might not want to ruin lives over it. But if crossing a state line is involved, it's much more likely that the motivations involved are sketchy, that it's not a relationship, but rather the older person lured or took the younger person away just for sex.
3) skirting the law at home by going elsewhere... each state wants the right to set their own rules, but no state wants to be the one that other people flee to in order to have sex with jailbait and get away with it. So they have an agreement (well, a federal law) that if you transport a minor across state lines for sexual purposes (because "it's not illegal there" or because you're less likely to get caught because nobody knows you in the other place), that is itself illegal.


#14

Probably not really the place to discuss this, but it's not the sort of thing that seems easily googlable, and there are lots of people from the USA here, so ...

(1) I could 'get'. But it seems weird to use an 'accident of governance' to add tiers to a legal system. But hey, if ya got it, then use it why not?

(2) seems just artificial. Motive is motive and I can't see how crossing a state line has got anything to do with the distinction between luring and not-luring. That would be - at most - another accident (that of geography).

The thing I can't wrap my head around is that crossing a state line seems to add another component to a crime and I just can't imagine how that could possibly matter, criminally [unless (3)]. If it's always mitigating, or always compounding, the crime it would at least be consistent (with (1) I suppose).

(3) is really the only thing that makes sense wrt the'heinousness' of the crime but it seems to me that the law of the land specifically mentions a transition between states (is that a phase change?) as a component of the crime regardless of the two or more states being crossed. So it surely cannot be (3). The mere fact of transit seems enough and I don't know why.


#15

The point is, for many if not most crimes the Federal Government agencies are prevented by the Constitution from getting involved. However, the Feds have jurisdiction over anything inter-state, and hey, they have budgets to justify.


#16

"Why - in particular - is transporting a minor across a state line for sexual purposes worse (or not as worse - "

This is not a moral issue, it's a direct result of the Federal structures at the at heart of US government. States have large latitude regarding what happens within their state.

Do something bad in your state, and you have to deal with your local police and courts. This matters. Trayvon Martin's killer would not have walked away a free man in most states, but he had the good fortune to be tried under Florida's "Stand your ground" laws.

However, crossing a state line transforms an act from a state issue to a federal issue, so different, larger, much better resourced organizations can get involved.

In particular, the FBI and US Attorneys ( an elite group of powerful prosectors) can get involved, and the case will be tried in front of a federal rather than local judge.

For the larger and more complex cases, often only "The Feds" have the resources and expertise to pursue the case, so local prosecutors will often look for some way to transform a difficult case into "a federal case".

This has a certain logic to it. How many resources can, say, the Bangor, Maine devote to child pornography relative to the FBI?


#17

DEN was the sequel to the Club Kids.

I don't know if I want to see a movie version. On one hand, all the paranoid maneuvering and mole-spy business makes for a good story. On the other, the sheer depravity of it all.


#18

I have to wonder if he was this lazy/incompetent with his original dot com venture too?

I can't believe I am about to say this, and please forgive me elders of the internet, but you could probably fool a little kid with it.


#19

Our country mainly rests on "states' rights", allowing them to operate without undue federal oversight (as though they were individual countries within a union). We all fall under The Constitution, which is our source for legal reference. (State laws can't disobey The Constitution.)

Committing certain crimes across state lines in the U.S. make them a federal, rather than state, issue because states may have widely varying laws, and some laws can only ever be written for circumstances where between-state travel occurred (for example: interstate trade law). The statute he was prosecuted under was 18 U.S.C. ยง 2423- Transportation of minors which is considered a form of sex trafficking. Each count comes with a sentence of not less than 10 years to life.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2423

So, federal laws may or may not be more severe than in-state laws. What they do is provide constancy across our state borders. In this case, the federal law ensures that a law will be there! Many states still don't have adequate protection for in-state trafficked children, and instead may treat them like the criminals. It was just last year that Kansas introduced an in-state trafficking law.

http://cjonline.com/news/2013-04-22/brownback-signs-human-trafficking-law


#20

I don't think I'm explaining my problem very well.

So it's a matter of jurisdiction rather than direct criminality. My sense of 'federalism' is that something is dealt with at the lowest level it can be, and that when the incident cannot be coped with (for whatever reason, geography, resources, convention, language) at that level then you step up a level. That's fine. I get that.

But it's the specificity of the 'name of the crime' in these cases. Transporting women or children across a state line for immoral purposes seems (to this foreigner) to be a 'different', specially delineated crime. If you're bank robbing in one state, the locals can handle it. It becomes federal if you're doing it all over the country. But there isn't (or maybe there is, what do I know?) a crime specifically named 'bank robbery across state lines'. That's my problem!


#21

I think they'd have to be. If only for the reason that (according to my understanding of the nature of federalism) "you're doing this shit at a level which has tripped a governance switch up to a higher level". Locals can't cope (if only because for a crime committed in two states it's unclear which [if not both?] can prosecute).

On the other hand, it seems to me that the level of abstraction has also been raised and that you (as the criminal) are less subject to local prejudices and conventions and might actually be slightly safer (less likely to be whupped?) by being dealt with by cooler, more disinterested, heads if you do your nastiness in more than one state.