Nfld. & Labrador

It's child porn, says forensic psychiatrist at St. John's sex doll case

A forensic psychiatrist says the child sex doll at the center of a child pornography case in St. John's fits the criteria for child porn.
Forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Peter Collins, says the child sex doll delivered to Kenneth Harrisson is child porn. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

A forensic psychiatrist says the child sex doll at the centre of an unusual trial in St. John's fits the criteria for child pornography.

Thursday, Dr. Peter Collins was qualified at an expert witness in child pornography in the case of Kenneth Harrisson, 51.

Collins made the comment during his questioning to qualify him as an expert, and it's also contained in a letter he sent to Const. Terry Follett of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary's Child Exploitation Unit.

The letter is now an exhibit at the trial. In it, Collins says, "If he (Harrisson) ordered the sex doll ... in my expert professional opinion, he likely has an erotic attraction to prepubescent children."

Kenneth Harrisson is charged with possessing child porn and more for allegedly having a child sex doll. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

Collins admits he never assessed Harrisson's mental state and can't provide a diagnosis.

Nonetheless, he writes, "Clinically, the majority of these men meet the criteria for the diagnosis of pedophilia."

Clinically, the majority of these men meet the criteria for the diagnosis of pedophilia.- Dr. Peter Collins

On the stand, Collins said that while all child molesters are pedophiles, not all pedophiles are child molesters. In other words, it's possible to have the deviant feelings, but not act on them.

In his letter to the RNC, Collins says men with an erotic attraction to children "can become incited by the imagery, satiated by the imagery or act out when they are experiencing stress in their life."

"In my professional opinion, the possession of a sex doll is just another form depicting a child for a sexual purpose and therefore would meet the criteria of child pornography," he continues.

The package from Japan containing the child sex doll allegedly belonging to Kenneth Harrisson. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

Harrisson was charged in March 2013.

The doll, which was mailed from Japan, had gone through Canada Post's international mail handling centre in Toronto. It contacted Canadian Border Services in St. John's, which called in the RNC.

A controlled delivery of the doll was carried out, and Harrisson was arrested when he took possession of the package. 

He is charged with possessing child porn, making use of the mail for the purpose of transmitting/delivering something obscene, and violations of the Customs Act.

The trial will resume for two days in February. Another three days are set for March.


Glenn Payette


A veteran journalist with more than 30 years' experience, Glenn Payette is a videojournalist with CBC News in St. John's.