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Gay Porn Producer's Home Raided

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Feb 2, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
CALABASAS, Calif. – Santa Barbara police detectives had a busy weekend raiding the home of F. Mark Schaffel, a business associate and friend of pop star Michael Jackson.

Schaffel is an established gay porn producer who once owned adult film house Sosume Industries and distribution subsidiary Renegade Video, the Los Angeles Times reported. Schaffel also owns and operates several gay porn sites on the Internet.

However, in the wake of Jackson's arrest for child molestation, authorities are now alleging that there is a possible child pornography connection between Schaffel and Jackson, although nothing has yet been confirmed and Schaffel's lawyer is denying his client had any involvement with child porn.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Schaffel is under investigation for possible involvement with a child porn ring in Budapest, which the FBI has been tracking since 2001. Eastern Block countries are said to have comparatively lax child protection laws in place and in some cases have been breeding grounds for child porn producers and distributors.

International child pornography watchdog groups like INHOPE.org are currently at work trying to make 18 years the global age verification standard for young adults.

The FBI has been hot on Schaffel's trail after a child porn videotape turned up that authorities allege was filmed and produced by Schaffel. The videotape contained footage of underage boys performing sex acts, although their ages have not been revealed.

Jackson is said to have been fully aware of the videotape and the allegations against Schaffel. He publicly distanced himself from Schaffel for a period of time before later hiring him to help produce a more flattering follow-up documentary on Jackson's life than the ABC documentary in which the singer confessed to sharing his bed with small children.

Schaffel is reportedly responsible for producing video footage of Jackson and the young boy he is now being accused of molesting holding hands at Neverland Ranch.

The detectives who conducted the search and seizure at Schaffel's home were the same group that originally launched a full-scale raid on Neverland, which was soon followed by Jackson's arrests for suspicion of child molestation. Jackson faces up to 24 years in prison if convicted.

Schaffel and Jackson were first involved in a business relationship in 2002 when Schaffel produced a charity single for Jackson, which later became a controversial issue when it was discovered that Schaffel was a gay porn producer.

The Santa Barbara detectives seized Schaffel's computers and various documents, the Los Angeles Times reports.

XBiz was unable to get comment or confirmation from Schaffel at the time of this printing.

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