Former Manga Translator, Stefan Koza Sentenced to 10 Years, with 7 Years of Sentence Suspended


*Content Warning: The Following News Article mentions Child Pornography Related Charges*

There is big news coming from Fairfax County, Virginia. It involves the disgraced former manga translator, Stefan Koza, regarding his verdict. Thanks to a new report from Anime News Network and the Fairfax District Court.

According to a new report from ANN’s Crystalyn Hodgkins, the Fairfax County District Court in Virginia announced the sentence for the disgraced manga translator, Stefan Koza (35).

On July 14th, Koza was found guilty of eight counts of possession of Child Pornography. The court has sentenced the disgraced translator to 10 years for each of the eight counts, to be served concurrently (a total of ten years, not eighty years). However, the court also has given Koza a partially suspended sentence. For seven years of the sentence on each count, the sentence is suspended for five years.

During five years of the suspended sentence, Koza will be on supervised probation, which will include mental health counseling. He must also enter and complete sex offender treatment. He will not have access to any device with internet access, and he cannot have access to cameras or any visual recording device. Koza must also pay all costs in the case, including registering as a Sex Offender in the registry for the state of Virginia.


He also must serve time in jail for the remaining three years of his sentence, but anytime he has already spent in jail will be credited toward those three years. ANN also mentioned that the Fairfax County District Court did not provide their news website with how long he has already spent in jail and how much time he has time left to serve. Anime News Network is currently waiting on the results of a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request with the Virginia Department of Corrections regarding that information.

In December 2020, Koza was arrested for Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography. Koza also went by Steady and Steady Studios in his manga work. He was an English-language translator for several of Viz Media’s Shonen Jump manga properties. Following the collaborative investigation with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICACTaskforce and the Herndon Police Department arrested near Wolftrap Virginia, the town also took part in the investigation, which was led by a Herndon Detective, according to the crime report.

The case went through the Fairfax County General District Court before moving to the county’s Circuit Court, where a grand jury indictment advanced eight charges of possession of child pornography — a felony.


Authorities conducted a search warrant at the family home last year, officers tried to get the resident to open the door, and Koza immediately called 911, saying people were banging on the door.

Authorities also mentioned that “After being instructed to open the front door for police, Koza removed internal components of his desktop tower computer, ran out of the basement exit, ran through some yards, ran to the edge of a wooded lot…where he threw computer component(s).

He reportedly ran back toward the residence, and when authorities questioned him, he said that he “panicked when he realized that police were at the door” and removed the components to “hide any trace of his child pornography downloads on the BitTorrent network,” according to a court document.


Koza apologized to the authorities and admitted to having been arrested in Japan for hiding a GoPro Camera in a dressing room or changing room at an elementary school as part of an exchange program. Koza, who was 26 at the time and a US Citizen at the time of his arrest in Japan reportedly became an assistant language teacher (ALT) at the school in August 2009. Koza’s LinkedIn profile stated that he was an ALT on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program at an unspecified elementary school in Japan from August 2009 to July 2014. Also mentioned in the court document, he was given three years probation, removed from Japan, and ordered back to the U.S.

While Koza was originally being held without bond, he was eventually released on recognizance (this meant he was released without needing to pay bond but was needed to sign a written promise to appear in court) on December 15th, 2020. As part of his release, he agreed to avoid all contact with minors and agreed to not use the Internet. In January 2021 the court amended Koza’s bond to allow for Koza to access Viz Media’s servers and to contact two people from the company via email. Viz confirmed with the News Website that it did not continue to work with Koza after his arrest.

For more on this story, head over to Anime News Network.

Source: Anime News Network (Crystalyn Hodgkins)

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