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Convicted sex offender says he identifies as 8-year-old girl, claims child porn found on computer is protected by First Amendment

But the judge didn't see things his way

Image source: WZZM-TV video screenshot

A convicted sex offender not only said that he identifies as an 8-year-old girl but also that child pornography found on his computer in his Michigan home is protected under the First Amendment, WZZM-TV reported.

"I've always been an 8-year-old girl," Joseph Gobrick said at his sentencing, the station noted. "And even my drawings and fantasies, I am always an 8-year-old girl."

Image source: WZZM-TV video screenshot

Gobrick, 45, claimed the images were computer-animated using an image manipulating program and protected under the First Amendment, WZZM said — but police said eight child victims were identified in the pornography recovered from Gobrick's computer.

What's more, some images depicted children between infancy to 5 years old being sexually assaulted, the station added, citing court records.

What's the background?

Gobrick was arrested in 2018 after a 17-year-old Ohio girl listed as endangered/missing was found at his Grand Rapids home, WZZM said, adding that child pornography was found on his computer during the investigation.

But Gobrick, who was convicted of sexual abuse in 2001 in New York, insisted in court he's not sexually attracted to children, the station said.

"I would no sooner have sex with a child than you would with a rattlesnake," he told the judge, according to WZZM. "It's just not safe."

Image source: WZZM-TV video screenshot

'Danger to the public'

But Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Helmer called Gobrick "a danger to the public," the station reported.

Helmer added that "even during the trial, the defendant continued to draw, talking about raping babies in the Kent County Jail and making other statements about how this is his constitutional right to continue to do so," WZZM said.

Image source: WZZM-TV video screenshot

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Denenfeld found Gobrick guilty on three counts of child sexually abusive commercial activity and using a computer to commit a crime, the station said, and sentenced him to between 10 and 20 years in prison.

"Based on everything he's said and done, including bragging about what he was drawing in his cell, he obviously doesn't think child sexually abusive material is wrong," Denenfeld said, according to WZZM. "This isn't just virtual stuff; this is also real people being harmed."

Other oddities

Strangely, at a bench trial Gobrick fired his court-appointed attorney and chose to represent himself, the station said, adding that he also kept maintaining his innocence and even challenged the legality of his prosecution at his sentencing.

"Under the law, Auschwitz was legal," Gobrick said, WZZM reported, presumably a reference to the infamous Nazi concentration camp. "What you're doing here is wrong, just as Auschwitz was."

One last thing…
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