LOS ANGELES — The final two charged movies were played in the morning for the jury in Ira Isaac’s obscenity trial, followed by testimony by Isaacs in the afternoon.
As Day 4 got underway, the jury maintained neutral expressions while watching “Hollywood Scat Amateurs #10,” though several of the jurors either looked down or stared into the courtroom, while others watched the film intently.
After a recess, prosecutor Grant introduced the final film, “Japanese Doggy Threeway,” which Isaacs distributed but did not produce.
Transcripts of the movie were also distributed to the jury so they could follow along with the Japanese dialogue.
The movie showed the same Japanese women from “Makos First Time Scat” involved in sex with two dogs. The women began by giving a blowjob to a male dog and then engaging in intercourse with the dog. Afterwards, the women gave the same dog another blowjob, while having sex with the second dog.
Most of the jurors kept their heads down or turned away from the monitor. A few of the jurors watched the scene in its entirety.
After the movie concluded, prosecutor James Grant asked LAPD Det. Kyle Lewison a few more questions, followed by a cross examination by Isaac’s attorney Roger Diamond.
Diamond asked Lewison about his experience and whether he would categorize Southern California, specifically the San Fernando Valley, as the home to most porn. Lewison said that he would.
Diamond went on to ask him if he knew that there were other porn movies being produced that featured graphic sex acts. Diamond also pointed out that an adult convention is held every year at the L.A. Convention Center displaying these hardcore movies and that the convention center is owned by the City of Los Angeles.
Diamond asked Lewis about the time he purchased two movies from one if Isaac’s websites in 2011, even though he knew that FBI special agent James Myrick had already purchased two movies in 2006. Lewison answered that he decided to buy the movies because he was involved in the investigation.
Grant redirected Lewison, asking him if in 2011, he was a vice detective whose job it was to investigate all obscenity cases. Lewison answered that it was his job. Grant also asked him if in all his years in vice, if he ever came across anyone in the porn industry who produced movies with feces or bestiality, or anyone who sold that kind of material. Lewison testified that he did not.
U.S. District Judge George King removed the jury from the court before the second break and instructed Diamond that Isaacs, who would next be taking the stand, was prohibited from testifying as an expert witness in what is and isn’t considered art, as per the judge’s earlier ruling.
The judge said Isaacs is only to testify as to what motivated and inspired him to create his work. But Diamond clearly had an issue with this instruction and attempted to tell the judge that if the court admonishes Isaacs or himself, it would look bad for the defense in front of the jury. The judge however, in a terse tone, told Diamond that he has an obligation to enforce his rulings and that Diamond, being a highly experienced attorney, knew better not to cross the line.
After the jury came back, the prosecution rested its case and Isaacs took the stand. Diamond asked him several questions about his background and about some of his earlier businesses which included a coupon mailing company.
Isaacs testified that he believed himself to be an artist and as such, was looking to do something unique and different so he began selling a few movies online.
Diamond asked him what his intent was in his scat movies. Isaacs replied that he wanted to explore the darker side of the human condition and to have viewers question the artistic value of the movies. His intent, he said, was to show a side of life they never considered and to make them think, “Why do people do this?”
Isaacs then proceeded to show the court some of the artwork that had inspired and motivated him over the years, including a character by the name of Joseph K in the book “The Trial,” which Isaacs said greatly influenced and guided his concepts for his movies. He said the book inspired him not to be afraid and not to let rules prevent him from doing what he wanted. He said that art is about taking chances.
Isaacs also showed a photo of a urinal, a sculpture of a woman squatting and urinating, a photo of a naked woman on her hands and feet with a trail of feces behind her, a painting of a Madonna with feces splattered all over her, and a photo depicting a can containing the feces of the artist. Isaacs testified that all of these exhibits elevated feces to an art form and he wanted to be part of this wave.
Diamond then turned to the FBI raid of Isaacs’ office in 2006. He testified that he had fully cooperated with FBI agents and gave them full access to his record-keeping documents. He said he never had anything to hide because he followed all the requirements by law.
Diamond asked him about the several addresses he used when mailing his movies, especially an address he used located in the Bronx, N.Y. Isaacs responded that often times, there are people who don’t like what he does and would try come to his office to hurt him or the people who worked for him. He was concerned about their safety so he knew the Bronx address would be the safest one to use because it was an empty building in an undesirable area.
Prosecutor Damon King then cross examined Isaacs and asked him about the different addresses he used and presented the envelopes and mailers his company used to mail the movies. Isaacs was asked whether he ever said, “It’s all about making money from sick people.”
Isaacs testified that he never said that. King also asked him if the words “art” or “artistic” appeared anywhere in the descriptions of the movies. Isaacs said that they did not.
King had no further questions and the defense rested.
Judge King will give instructions to the jury in the morning, followed by closing statements.
The trial continues tomorrow in downtown Los Angeles at the Roybal U.S. District Courthouse located at 255 E. Temple St.