The prosecutor in Salaff’s case signed release papers on Aug. 19 at 4:55 p.m., enabling Salaff to walk free for the first time since he and several crew members were arrested on Jan. 23 while working on a project for Devil’s Films.
Salaff contacted XBiz by email to share the news.
“This is Fred in the flesh,” Salaff wrote. “I am out of jail but can’t leave Panama until the case is totally closed. I am sort of shell shocked because the prison experience is beyond imaginable in Panama.”
Salaff went on to explain that he was released on what is called “medida cautelar,” which means, in essence, countrywide house arrest. He is free to travel anywhere in Panama but must sign in at the prosecutor’s office every Friday. His associate, Stefano Simne, was released under the same provision.
The two were arrested after Panamanian police raided Salaff’s home, which was being used as a location for the shoot.
Officials charged Salaff and his corporate entity, Rio Bueno Ltd. SA, with pressuring prostitutes to perform in the production, neglecting to file the proper paperwork to film an adult movie and failing to take adequate measures to prevent minors from being exposed to sexual activity.
All charges but the last were dropped almost immediately when Salaff’s lawyer, Eugenio Morice, proved them to be false. Morice has spent the past several months trying to get the final charge wiped out, and it appears he will soon be successful.
“[ Morice] has been fighting like a barracuda to get my case resolved,” Salaff told XBiz. “He thinks it might take a month or two to get the charges dropped finally.”
From the beginning, Salaff has adamantly denied all of the charges, claiming that he was targeted by a corrupt prosecutor. In an interesting twist, the prosecutor was, in fact, arrested on corruption charges the day after Salaff’s release and sent to the same prison where Salaff had been confined.
Despite the good news, Salaff said his ordeal is far from over. He owes tens of thousands in legal fees and has lingering health problems due to the prison’s unsanitary conditions and his inability to receive medications on a regular basis while incarcerated.
“I am completely broke, both spiritually and financially,” he said.
To help pay the debt, Salaff’s friends have set up a fundraising website with a link to a special PayPal account.