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Stagliano Trial Brings to Light LAPD Porn Surveillance

Stagliano Trial Brings to Light LAPD Porn Surveillance
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Jul 20, 2010 12:30 PM PDT    Text size: 
LOS ANGELES — With the John Stagliano obscenity trial now history, many in the adult industry community have shifted their attention to one of the witnesses for the prosecution — the LAPD's Det. Michael Ozaki.

Ozaki, who works in the LAPD's vice squad, focuses his attention on obscenity-related matters.

Ozaki's transcribed testimony at the Stagliano trial included references that he travels to various adult entertainment venues and convention halls outside of the city of Los Angeles to "keep tabs on new lines of products" that may be of interest to authorities for future charges and indictments.

According to testimony, the detective said he first learned of Stagliano in 2007 at the Erotica LA show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Ozaki said he later observed Stagliano at the 2008 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas and that he visited Evil Angel offices in Van Nuys, where he shot photos of the facility and Stagliano’s wife, Karen, entering the building.

All told, Ozaki testified that he had been to AEE five times, with porn star Aurora Snow even recognizing him.

Snow, who was at the four-day trial and wrote dispatches for AVN, even said that she is "almost sure" that she has signed autographs for the detective at adult conventions. Snow later said that she only reported the facts. "I was clear and concise with what I wrote on the subject as it pertained to the trial I was covering," Snow told XBIZ.

Snow continued that she was "surprised to hear how the LAPD spends tax money so consistently on porn-related materials in the name of 'research' when the city is reeling from recent budget cuts."

Even Richard Abowitz, who covered the trial for Reason, said Ozaki's revelation on monitoring the porn biz was appalling. "His testimony was outrageous," Abowitz told XBIZ.

XBIZ wasn't able to find out more about Ozaki or any other details of the LAPD's obscenity unit, including which venues he has attended in the past five years and a listing of travel-related expenses incurred by Ozaki during the commission of those investigations.

In several waves of email and phone correspondence, a senior public information officer for the LAPD told XBIZ, "We have to decline your request" for information and documents relative to Ozaki's duties.

Stagliano and his companies — Evil Angel Productions Inc. and John Stagliano Inc. — were charged with seven counts for illegal possession, distribution and sale of two videos sent through the mail — "Milk Nymphos" and "Storm Squirters 2 'Target Practice'" — and a trailer of "Fetish Fanatic Chapter 5" shown on the Internet.

Stagliano, 58, faced a maximum of 32 years in jail and $7 million in fines if convicted on all counts.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington on Friday said there was not enough evidence to continue the trial in Washington, tossing out all charges.

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