Michigan inmate kept drawings, stories of child porn, court says
A 45-year-old man who was already in prison for having child pornography will continue to spend more time behind bars for keeping drawings of children having sex with adults, an appeals court has decided.
Christopher John Czarnik is a prisoner at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Michigan. He was sentenced to prison in 2014 after pleading guilty to charge of possessing and distributing sexually explicit images of children, prison records show.
While in prison in 2016, a corrections officer patted down the inmate during a search and found a drawing of a young girl "having sex and performing oral sex on an adult male," court records said.
The officer also reported finding a hand-written story of a 6-year having sex with adults.
In an interview with state police, Czarnik allegedly confessed to having more drawings and stories in his cell, and as a result of a search, correctional officers seized 10 hand-drawn pictures of children having sex and 16 different writings "depicting sexual acts between adults and children."
Czarnik said he drew two of the pictures and wrote eight of the stories, court records said.
Prosecutors charged Czarnik for keeping and producing sexually abusive material of children.
Czarnik pleaded guilty, but entered the plea under the condition that the trial court would still rule on his motion to quash the information and dismiss the charge against him.
Court records said he argued the pictures were "cartoon drawings of fictional characters," suggesting he couldn't be prosecuted for having sexually abusive material under state law. He also argued that "purely verbal descriptions" of children having sex aren't included in the statute.
The prosecution contended the drawings, as well as the writings, qualified as child sexually abusive material.
In its opinion released this week, the appeals court ultimately sided with the state.
"Defendant argues that 'depiction' is not meant to included purely textual writings because the statute's definition purportedly shows that it is meant to cover only visual or audio representations," the appeals court wrote. "But because the pictures and illustrations defendant drew easily qualify as child sexually abusive material, we need not reach the question of whether his written stories qualify as well."
In response to Czarnik's argument that the drawings showed "fictional characters," the appeals court also wrote "there is no mistaking that the drawings represented a human child — they were not outlandish 'cartoons' that did not reasonably resemble a person."
Because he pleaded guilty, Czarnik was sentenced to a minimum of seven more years in prison in 2016, which was set to run consecutively to other sentences he's serving, according to MLive.
His earliest release date is in 2026, prison records show.