DOJ Issues Obscenity Indictment

Michael Hayes
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Justice Department has indicted Danilo Simoes Croce, a Brazilian man accused of operating websites that offered "obscene videos for download or delivery in the U.S.,” according to a criminal complaint filed in the middle district of Florida.

According to the 12-page indictment, Croce is accused of dealing in allegedly obscene material that included “videos depicting bukkake, fisting, and depictions of defecation, urination and vomiting in conjunction with sex acts."

If convicted, Croce could face five years in prison and a $150,000 fine.

Adult entertainment industry attorney Lawrence Walters told XBIZ that none of the material detailed in the indictment is per se obscene, adding that mainstream films such as “Jackass” and “Team America” have depicted scenes with scat content without being considered obscene.

“The government will still have to prove that the material is obscene based on the community standards test,” Walters said. “However, Orlando is a fairly conservative area, which means that the jury will be drawn from a relatively conservative group of people.”

The Croce indictment, which is the result of a three-year undercover investigation lead by postal inspector Linda Walker, is the latest obscenity case brought by the Justice Department under the Bush administration.

In 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and FBI Director Robert Mueller issued a communication to the FBI’s 56 field offices calling the prosecution of hardcore pornography a “top priority.”

“The government appears to be making good on its promise to gear up and prosecute what they deem to be obscene material,” Walters said. “If there is a silver lining with cases such as this, it is that the government focus appears to be on the fringe of the industry.”

According to the indictment, Croce did business as Dragon Films.