Isaacs' Federal Obscenity Trial Slated to Begin Feb. 28

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge has slated a Feb. 28 start to the obscenity trial of fetish filmmaker Ira Isaacs.

Isaacs has pleaded not guilty to eight felony obscenity counts for videos allegedly distributed in 2007 and this year.

According to the federal complaint, Isaacs, through his Stolen Car Films and LA Media companies, distributed by mail "Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 7," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 10," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 38," "Trailers" and "Japanese Doggie 3 Way" — all deemed "obscene matter" by federal prosecutors.

The long-running case was put on hold in 2010 after federal appellate Judge Alex Kozinski, a visiting judge at the district court, recused himself after it was revealed that he used a website to distribute sexually explicit photos and videos.

Later, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Kozinski exercised “sound discretion” in declaring a mistrial in the Isaacs case because of “extraordinary circumstances.”

But federal prosecutors continued on with the case against Isaacs and earlier this year made a superseding indictment to add five more counts to the original three from 2007.

The jury trial, which will be held at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, will include no expert witnesses for the defense, according to court briefs filed recently. 

Those pre-trial briefs also indicate that the prosecution was concerned that the defense would state to jurors that federal prosecutors trying the case were from Washington and that there could be an "attempt to offer evidence, testimony, or argument regarding any suspected political motivation for indicting the defendant on the charged offenses." 

But "the defense stated a motion would be unnecessary and agreed not to mention that government counsel were from Washington, D.C., nor to offer any evidence, testimony or argument regarding any suspected political motivation for indicting the defendant on the charged offenses," a brief said.   

Attorneys from both sides will meet in a pretrial conference Feb. 13, two weeks prior to the trial's start date. U.S. District Judge George King will preside in the case.