Final Jury Selection Tomorrow in Isaacs Obscenity Case

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — Final jury selection is slated for tomorrow in the government's obscenity case against fetish filmmaker Ira Isaacs.

Of the pool of 120 potential jurors, 12 jurors and four alternates will be selected for the trial, which will include screening of the four movies in the seven-count indictment: "Mako’s First Time Scat," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #7," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #1" and "Japanese Doggie 3 Way."

The trial, U.S. District Judge George King said, will last three to four days. Each of the potential jurors were given a multipage questionnaire to fill out after questioned in court by Isaacs lawyer, Roger Jon Diamond, and federal prosecutors Michael Grant and Damon King.

Jurors received brief descriptions of each movie and were queried by King over whether they could stomach the movies that involve the ingestion of feces and urine.

One of the jurors at today's hearing stood up and said that the videos "are against God and everything I believe in."

Turning to Isaacs and pointing at him, he declared: "You should be ashamed of yourself!"

King admonished the potential juror and told others that they should confine themselves to answering the questions asked and not to give personal opinions about the genre of material at center of the trial.

In March, jurors were declared deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of convicting Isaacs over charges he produced, sold and transported obscene material. The government has decided to retry the case a third time after two mistrials.

Isaacs hinted to XBIZ several weeks ago that he would take the stand in his own defense, saying he may "give the jury a lesson in art" and telegraph to them that "if the artist says it's art, it's art."

The fetish filmmaker all along has contended that the works he has been charged with have artistic value and can't be deemed obscene.

Isaacs first trial 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 last year made a superseding indictment to add five more counts to the original five from 2007.  The charges now have been reduced to seven.

The case, U.S. vs. Isaacs, continues at 8:30 a.m. at U.S. District Court, 312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles.