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Brothers charged with spreading fake snuff porn on Internet

Friday, October 13, 2000


WINNIPEG (CP) -- Two brothers have been charged with making obscene material for their Internet site, including pornographic videos that feature simulations of women being killed. The pair are accused of recruiting 20 women in Winnipeg to make the original material in Fort Frances, Ont. Although police say the women weren't hurt, they allege the men used computer technology to make it appear they were being killed.

The lurid combination of sex and violence in the fake snuff videos is believed by police to have crossed the line and violated Canada's obscenity laws. Wayne Harrison of the Ontario Provincial Police said they looked at the possibility of laying hate-crime charges against the pair because of the way women were depicted in the material. "Unfortunately the hate laws in Canada do not include gender as a group that can be the victim of a hate crime," he said Friday. Warrants were executed in Winnipeg and Fort Frances Friday by Winnipeg police and the OPP. The brothers allegedly ran two Web sites, one free and one for members only. Money from the 500 customers on the members-only site was reportedly $5,000 a month. The operation had been running for two years.

Donald Smith, 42, of Fort Frances and William Smith, 37, of Winnipeg are to appear in court in Fort Frances. No date for the hearing has been set. Police have so far been unable to shut down the Web sites completely because they operate partly on a server in the United States.

They've been told by the FBI there is nothing that appears to violate U.S. law.


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