Isaacs Asks for Emergency Stay to Remain Free Pending Appeal

Rhett Pardon

SAN FRANCISCO — Ira Isaacs has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to issue an emergency stay to allow him to remain free after Tuesday, when he is scheduled to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons for a period of four years.

Isaacs, convicted of five counts of obscenity by a jury last year after two mistrials, has already filed an appeal over his conviction and sentencing and wants to remain free while the court weighs the issues in the case.

He has asked the 9th Circuit to make its decision over whether can remain free by end of day today. The appeals court, based in San Francisco, had not ruled at post time whether to grant Isaacs an emergency stay.

"Monday Feb. 18 is a holiday so any order must be made by Feb. 15 to save the U.S. the money involved in incarcerating Mr. Isaacs," said attorney Roger Jon Diamond, Isaacs' attorney.

"Clearly Isaacs is no threat to flee," Diamond told the court in the motion for emergency stay. "This court has already ruled that he can proceed in forma pauperis because he is broke. He has nowhere to go. He clearly has made every single court appearance requested of him in the past six years."

One of the key issues on appeal of the conviction and sentencing, Diamond revealed in the motion, will be whether or not U.S. District Judge George King unduly restricted Isaacs’ testimony.

"Isaacs was given more leeway with respect to the second trial and that trial resulted in a hung jury," Diamond said. "In the third trial before Judge King, Isaacs was prohibited from testifying as to certain opinions regarding the movies. Isaacs respectfully submits this was reversible error by Judge King.

Diamond also said that he was limited in his closing argument in Isaacs' third trial.

"[Diamond] was constantly interrupted by Judge King even when no objection had been made by the government. Judge King improperly limited Diamond’s closing argument and this will be another ground for appeal," Diamond said.

There are additional appellate issues also, Diamond said.

"For example, during the trial the district court would not allow comparable materials of a certain nature to be submitted to the jury," Diamond said. "The district court ruled the materials were not comparable. This is an issue for appeal."

Isaacs was found guilty last April on five counts of violating federal obscenity laws over the mail distribution of  "Mako’s First Time Scat, " "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #7," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #10" and "Japanese Doggie 3 Way."