Morroccan Court Sentences Website Operators, Talent

Rhett Pardon
MARRAKESH, Morrocco — In what may be the harshest sentencing ever for operators of an online adult business, a Marrakesh court has thrown the book at 13 individuals who either owned or starred in a gay website.

The court, which handed down its decision Friday night, gave sentences ranging from six months to six years in prison for each of the defendants, according to al-Alam, a Moroccan news agency.

All told, the defendants received the equivalent of 30 years imprisonment; defendants also have been fined, ranging from $100 to $3,000.

The defendants, including 11 Moroccans and two French, operated a gay streaming-video site, which was deemed obscene by the court.

The site, already shut down by Morroccan authorities, had 500 recurring members who paid a monthly fee of $50. A court filing said that the operators made nearly $25,000 a month on the site.