U.S. Judge Grants Extension in Extreme Associates Case

Rhett Pardon
PITTSBURGH — The federal judge to decide the U.S. government’s obscenity case against Extreme Associates owners Robert Zicari and Janet Romano agreed Tuesday to continue pretrial filings for three months.

U.S. District Court Judge Gary Lancaster granted the joint motion for the extension of time after a 10-minute telephone status conference Monday with U.S. Attorney Stephen Kaufman and defendants’ attorney Louis Sirkin.

Lancaster ordered the extension of time until Feb. 1 and deemed it an excludable delay under the Speedy Trial Act.

Zicari and Romano, better known in the adult business as Rob Black and Lizzie Borden, were first indicted in 2003 for distributing three videos via the mail and six images over the Internet, all alleged by prosecutors to be obscene material.

Lancaster dismissed the case in January 2005, ruling that the anti-obscenity statutes were unconstitutional when applied to Extreme Associates because they violated an individual’s right to privacy.

The Justice Department appealed that ruling before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which overruled Lancaster.

U.S. justices declined to hear the appeal, sending the case back to Lancaster for trial. Upon learning of the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, Zicari said it was “a big fuck you.”

The government’s case originally zeroed in on the video ''Forced Entry,'' which stars and is directed by Romano.

The Chatsworth, Calif.-based company bills the film as a ''stunningly disturbing look at a serial killer, Satanic rituals and the depths of human depravity.''

If convicted Zicari and Romano face up to 50 years in prison and a fine fo $2.5 million.

The case is U.S. vs. Extreme Associates Inc., No. 05-1555.