BPC Bulletin: Author and Publisher of "Hansel et Gretel" Acquitted in Quebec Court

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.

 

In the Superior Court of Quebec, a judge has acquitted a fiction author and a book publisher of child pornography charges.

On September 24, 2020, Justice Marc-André Blanchard acquitted Yvan Godbout of producing child pornography. Godbout is the author of Hansel et Gretel, a horror novel that includes depictions of child sexual abuse.

Justice Blanchard also acquitted François Doucet of distributing child pornography. He is the founder, owner and publisher of Éditions AdA.* The company published Hansel et Gretel in 2017.

The judge ruled that parts of Canada’s child pornography laws are overly broad; they target literature that doesn’t endorse or promote pedophilia.

The Province of Quebec has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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*Doucet is described in English news reports as Godbout’s editor. It is possible that he edited Godbout’s novel — I don’t know — but Doucet is the publisher of Éditions AdA. In French, a male publisher is an éditeur. A male editor is a rédacteur or réviseur.

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REPORTAGE IN ENGLISH 

The Sherbrooke Times reports:

https://sherbrooktimes.com/author-acquitted-of-juvenile-porn-i-cried-for-two-hours-yvan-godbout/109597/

The Canadian Press reports:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/yvan-godbout-acquitted-1.5741240

Morgan Lowrie of the Canadian Press reports:

https://globalnews.ca/news/7359407/quebec-court-acquits-author-declares-part-of-child-pornography-law-invalid/

REPORTAGE IN FRENCH 

At TVA Nouvelles, the host of Québec matin interviews Godbout:

https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/09/28/auteur-acquitte-de-porno-juvenile-jai-pleure-pendant-deux-heures---yvan-godbout

La Presse Canadienne reports:

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1736929/yvan-godbout-accusation-hansel-gretel-horaire-pedophilie-acquitte

In Le Devoir, Natalia Wysocka reports:
https://www.ledevoir.com/culture/586654/yvan-godbout-remporte-sa-bataille-epique

In La Presse, Stéphanie Vallet reports:

https://www.lapresse.ca/arts/litterature/2020-09-25/acquitte-l-auteur-yvan-godbout-raconte-son-enfer.php

On QUB Radio, Geneviève Pettersen interviews Godbout:

https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/09/25/arretez-de-me-comparer-a-mes-personnages-lance-lauteur-yvan-godbout

At Cogeco Média, radio host Patrick Lagacé of Le Québec maintenant interviews Godbout:

https://www.fm1069.ca/audio/335119/yvan-godbout

At Radio-Canada, Rania Massoud reports:

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1736292/pornographie-juvenile-auteur-yvan-godbout-acquitte-marcoux

Stéphanie Marin of La Presse Canadienne reports:

https://www.lesoleil.com/actualite/lauteur-yvan-godbout-et-son-editeur-sont-acquittes-de-pornographie-juvenile-79630a8e08b2b4e53870db7b51fb1e1d

In La Presse, Louis-Samuel Perron reports:

https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/justice-et-faits-divers/2020-09-24/l-auteur-yvan-godbout-acquitte-de-production-de-pornographie-juvenile.php

At Le Journal de Montréal, Michael Nguyen reports:
https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/09/24/pornographie-juvenile-lauteur-yvan-godbout-acquitte

 

COMMENTARY IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH

L’Association national des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) comments:

https://www.anel.qc.ca/anel/communique-affaire-hansel-et-gretel-lanel-soulagee-par-le-jugement-de-la-cour-superieure/

Union des écrivaines et des écrivains québécois (UNEQ) comments:

https://www.uneq.qc.ca/2020/09/24/yvan-godbout-acquitte/

PEN Canada comments:

https://pencanada.ca/news/canada-concerns-around-prosecution-of-yvan-godbout/

P.E.N. Québec comments:
https://penquebec.org/2019/12/21/affaire-hansel-et-gretel-linquietude-grandit-dans-la-communaute-litteraire-selon-luneq/

Big thanks go to Charles Montpetit who forwarded the news stories.

 

The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.

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