Panama City Judge Declares Fred Salaff Not Guilty

Anne Winter
JOYITO, Panama — American adult film producer Fred Salaff has been deemed not guilty of prostitution and faulty paperwork charges. He has been under house arrest, barred from seeking employment, since his arrest more than two years ago.

Salaff told XBIZ that in the end, justice was made slowly — "It takes forever to get things done in Panama," he said — and he now awaits the return of the supplies taken from his apartment by police when he was arrested.

Salaff said everything but his furniture was taken, and officials filled two yellow school buses with his cameras, editing equipment and even his filing cabinets. He said there's no guarantee he'll get everything back in one piece; two years' worth of humidity likely ruined much of his electronic equipment.

"I can only expect so much after two-and-a-half years," Salaff said.

Salaff was arrested after police raided his Devils Film shoot and charged him with pressuring prostitutes to perform and failing to file paperwork necessary to legally film an adult movie in the area, as well as neglecting to prevent minors from viewing the on-set activity. Several children reportedly climbed a wall to peek into Salaff's set during the shoot.

"I followed the law completely," Salaff said. "Kids climbed a neighbor's tree. It was an invasion of my privacy."

But regardless of what he might have lost in the ordeal, Salaff is glad it is over, and said it's an important triumph for the adult industry.

"All of Latin America — not just Panama — has a double morality standard," Salaff said. "It doesn't want to give the impression it is a sex-tourist destination."

Salaff also said he thanks those in the industry who supported him during the trial.

"It has been two-and-a-half years of a nightmare, gross travesty of justice, loss of reason, separation from family and all the rest," Salaff said, "but it's finally over."