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Obscenity Cases, the DOJ and You

Obscenity Cases, the DOJ and You

September 25, 2008
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" The government is behaving like nothing more than a playground bully, pounding those who can’t fight back on a level playing field. "

The Department of Justice is holding a black cloud of threat over the heads of adult entertainment industry professionals and, with the pending regime change, they seem to be flexing their muscle more than usual. Obscenity — it’s the only law on the books in which the violating individual or company does not know that they’ve committed a crime until being found guilty in court.

While in office, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales acquiesced to a “moral” minority hell bent on waging war on the adult entertainment industry. As attorney general, he developed a team within the DOJ supporting the idea that this misguided, “moral” minority should be able to dictate to the rest of us what we could purchase, read, and watch in the privacy of our own homes. While Gonzales is gone, the structure he built is still alive and well through the fundamentalist prosecutors he put in place. Does he really believe that what he did helped to elevate morals and ethics in the U.S.?

Explain the ethical decision our government made when it indicted John Stagliano on the movies “Milk Nymphos” and “Storm Squirters.” Interesting that the government focused on movies in which women were taking an active sexual role. Women ejaculating — would the government have batted an eye if it were male ejaculation? Does our government believe that sexually emancipated women are immoral and unethical? Whose morals, whose ethics are we talking about here?

Where are the morals in the prosecution of the Red Rose case? In this case, our government went after an agoraphobic woman who was working through childhood abuse issues by means of a journaling chat group of 29 participants. The Justice Department went after a woman they know would never make it through a trial, a woman who would die in prison. In its generosity, the government gave her a sentence of house arrest, but she will forever have a felony obscenity conviction on her record and the government, a notch in its belt, not only for the obscenity conviction, but also for an obscenity conviction of the written word. Morals? Bull! Shame on them!

The government is behaving like nothing more than a playground bully, pounding those who can’t fight back on a level playing field. Is there a bigger sucker punch than threatening to take away someone’s livelihood, their business, their home, their very freedom, and even if the individual is found not guilty, at what cost is the indictment?

Attorney Roger Wilcox gave one of the first workshops I attended at an adult conference. In that workshop I learned that the average cost for an obscenity case is $500,000! The government can move a case forward that it has little to no chance of winning, and still significantly damage or even ruin an adult business.

Max Hardcore and John Stagliano need our help. I wish FSC could take up every one of these cases with the strength of the U.S. government but, with a budget of less than a million we would be bankrupt after one or two cases. Our litigation focuses on national cases where we can influence law for the good of the whole industry. But, while FSC can’t contribute to individual cases, I, Diane Duke as an individual, can and will contribute to help in their legal expenses.

To contribute to John Stagliano’s legal defense fund, send checks to: EA Productions, 14141 Covello Street Unit 8C, Van Nuys, CA 91405 (please write “Defend Our Porn” in the memo section of the check).

To contribute to Paul Little’s (Max Hardcore) legal defense fund, send checks to: MaxWorld Entertainment, 1333 Pleasantridge Dr. Altadena, CA 91001 (please write “Legal Defense Fund” in the memo section of the check), or email maxsteiner0001@gmail.com, or call (626) 791-5800.


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