LOS ANGELES — Ira Isaacs' attorney told an appeals court yesterday that the government is bullying its way into trying to put the fetish filmmaker beyond bars while an appeals court weighs his conviction and sentencing.
In a reply brief to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, attorney Roger Jon Diamond said that federal prosecutors haven't exercised restraint and wisdom in the case and that there isn't a "reason for the government to try to save face and get Mr. Isaacs in custody while his appeal has not yet been."
"There is no reason for the government to take such a hard-nosed position unless politics is at play here," Diamond wrote. "Indeed, as the first trial revealed, the obscenity unit pursuing Isaacs was set up under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The unit no longer exists. This may very well be the last obscenity case being pursued in this country.
"Politics has no place in our criminal justice system," he said.
Isaacs was found guilty in a third trial in April 2012 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." Two earlier trials were declared mistrials.
In his reply brief to allow Isaacs free until his appeal is resolved, Diamond noted that the presiding judge in Isaacs' trials is a former federal prosecutor who was involved in an obscenity case (U.S. vs. Pinkus) in the 1970s.
"Obviously this was a case where then Assistant U.S. Attorney [George] King was convinced of the correctness of the government’s position and likewise this honorable 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was obviously confident that the conviction was properly upheld because this court upheld the conviction. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed," Diamond wrote.
Diamond also noted in the brief that Isaacs has been hampered in his appeal because transcripts in the third trial have not yet been prepared and that there are arguments to be made over specific jury instructions relative to the definition of some terms of obscenity.
Transcripts, according to a deputy clerk working on them, will be available April 30.
"All Isaacs can do (through his attorney) is try to remember exactly what was said during the trial," Diamond wrote.