And since Republicans won't say it, still not transgender:
He was president of a Charlotte area Tea Party group for years. He was the volunteer Mecklenburg County chair for N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s campaign in 2012 and co-designed the grassroots strategy to get Forest elected, his lawyers said. He led the charge to stop sports taxes in Charlotte. He stood up for what he believed in, say those who knew him. But Christian Hine had a secret.
In order to battle an autistic disorder and depression from a failed relationship, he was “self-medicating” with child pornography.
On a scale of one to whatthefuck, that's about a twelve. Aside from the fact his lawyers have constructed a purely clinical argument designed to absolve him of any responsibility for his actions, there's a huge difference between adult pornography and child pornography. Those who engage in the file-sharing of the latter are directly responsible for the abuse of children, many of them barely out of kindergarten. And those individuals (many who are Christian) who try to equate all pornography as the "same evil" demonstrate clearly their sociopathic disregard for the innocent victims of the truly perverted. Here's more apologizing and rationalizing, if you can stomach it:
“His future seemed bright,” his lawyers wrote. “However, unbeknownst to his business partners, his friends, and his mother, Christian started the pornography. With no medical help and “no one to speak to due to the stigma of Internet pornography,” Hine quickly became addicted, his lawyers wrote.
Hine was lonely, had limited social skills and the computer became an outlet for Hine’s sexuality, his lawyers said. Hine became addicted to porn in an attempt to “fill the void in his life,” his lawyers wrote in court documents.
That porn led to pictures of children.
“Like many others before him, Christian’s spiral into the world of Internet pornography led him to stumble upon deviant and illegal sexual interests he did not know existed,” the lawyers wrote.
Many people wrote letters to the court asking for mercy for Hine before he pleaded guilty. Former coworkers at a mail sorting plant, conservative activists, and others wrote that he was a good person who had interaction with their families without problems. A doctor wrote and testified that Hine was not likely to re-offend after treatment.
If it truly is an addiction, that doctor doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. It usually takes decades, with countless relapses along the way, for an addict to get to the other side. And those eventual successes are still outnumbered by the failures.