Man Who Ordered Child-Sized Sex Doll Tells Court It Was to Replace Dead Infant Son

Kenneth Harrisson, whose son died more than two decades ago, has been charged with child pornography for purchasing the sex doll.
child-sized sex doll, kenneth Harrison, child pornography, newfoundland
Kenneth Harrison | Image via CP. 

A Newfoundland man who is facing child porn charges after ordering a child-sized sex doll from Japan says he bought the doll to “replace” his long-deceased son, who was an infant when he died.

Kenneth Harrisson, 54, ordered “Carol,” a four-foot-two doll, from a Japanese website that sold childlike and adult sex dolls. Canada Border Services Agency intercepted the delivery and arrested Harrisson in March 2013. He was charged for possessing child pornography, mailing obscene matter, and two charges under the federal Customs Act of smuggling and possession of prohibited goods.


Harrisson testified at his trial Monday in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

According to the Canadian Press, Harrisson testified that he bought Carol because of its “male-like” appearance to represent his son who died more than two decades ago at six months old. He said he googled “sex doll” to find his son’s replacement, but it did not occur to him to search “male sex doll.” He told the court he didn’t want a baby doll, but one that would better represent how his son might have appeared at that point in time. Harrisson’s son would have been 25 years old in 2013.

Crown attorney Bill Howse told the court on Monday that Harrisson's explanation of purchasing a female sex doll as a companion to replace his son “doesn’t make any sense.”

The case stands out as it is the first known instance in Atlantic Canada where a child porn case has extended beyond drawings, literature or digital representations of child pornography, VICE previously reported. Typically, child porn cases depict the sexual exploitation of children, but Harrisson is being prosecuted for purchasing an inanimate object.

Currently under Canada’s Criminal Code, child porn constitutes of a photographic, film, video or other visual representation which depicts a person under 18 years old for a sexual purpose—whether made through electronic or mechanical means or not.

Other child porn cases in Canada have involved cartoon or anime depictions of children, many of them coming from Japan, where animated child porn is still legal. Child pornography possession was banned there only five years ago, in 2014, as children victimized were getting younger than 12 years old, and the imagery getting more violent.


Harrisson’s case raises questions about what constitutes as child porn when a real child isn’t involved. Some experts have said there is not always a link between pedophilia and looking at sexual imagery of minors—or in this case, being the owner of a child sex doll.

Earlier in the trial, a forensic psychologist testified that the doll looks prepubescent, without sexually mature characteristics, and that it should meet the standards of child pornography in Canada. Authorities previously described the child-like doll as being made of foam and dressed in a school uniform, including "accessories that would be used for sexual gratification purposes.”

But Harrisson, who previously told the CBC that he does not condone child abuse “in any way, shape or form,” told the court that his intentions were not to have sex with the childlike doll. “The purpose I intended it for was to replace my deceased son, period.”

Closing arguments in the case were heard Tuesday.

Follow Sarah on Twitter.

Sign up for the VICE Canada Newsletter to get the best of VICE Canada delivered to your inbox.