Quebec author charged with child pornography, sparking public outcry

A Quebec author has been charged with child pornography for his retelling of a Hansel and Gretel story, causing public outcry of free speech concerns.
A Quebec author has been charged with child pornography for his retelling of a Hansel and Gretel story, causing public outcry of free speech concerns.

A Quebec author has been charged with child pornography after retelling a Hansel and Gretel story, according to Vice.

Yvan Godbout, who was the author of the book, and his publisher, Nycolas Doucet, were charged last April of the production and distribution of child pornography. This was due to Godbout adding a scene to the story, in which Gretel is sexually assaulted by her father.

The arrest of Godbout and Doucet, which occurred in March of 2019, sparked controversy over freedom of speech as the authors did not market the book to children, nor did they include explicit pictures, and the publisher also included a warning message at the back of the novel.

The book was originally published in 2017 as apart of a group of fairy tales reimagined as horror stories.

The crown’s decision to prosecute the two men has been met with fierce resistance: a petition was created that now has nearly 20,000 signatures; the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has labeled the charges an abuse of judicial powers.

The case is currently scheduled to go to trial in July 2020 in Quebec.