VENTURA, Calif. (AP) _ The child sexual abuse conviction of the cartoonist who created Hustler magazine's ''Chester the Molester'' was overturned by an appeals court that ruled the cartoons shouldn't have been used as evidence.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that sexually explicit cartoons drawn by Dwaine Beverly Tinsley, 46, of Simi Valley were improperly admitted into evidence at his trial.

Tinsley was convicted in January 1991 on five counts of molesting his teen- age daughter. The alleged molestations started in 1984, when the girl was 13, and continued until age 17. Tinsley was sentenced to six years in prison.

The cartoon created by Tinsley depicts a lecherous character's attraction to young girls. Evidence presented at the trial said Tinsley told co-workers, ''You can't write this stuff all the time if you don't experience it.''

''A reversal of a serious crime is always disappointing,'' said Chief Deputy District Attorney Vincent O'Neill

His office has 60 days to decide whether to ask the appeals court to reconsider the case or take it to the state Supreme Court.

If the appeals court case is upheld, Tinsley's convictions will be erased and a new trial could be scheduled, O'Neill said.

The defense appeal argued the cartoons were improperly introduced by the prosecution as evidence of Tinsley's alleged predisposition to molest the girl.

The prosecutor argued the cartoons were relevant to prove Tinsley's mental state at the time, but the appeals court ruled there was no evidence linking the cartoons with the alleged molestations.