Zicari: ‘They Picked the Wrong One to Challenge’

Rhett Pardon
EDITOR’S NOTE: An in-depth look at the government’s case against Extreme Associates can be read in the March edition of XBiz World. Subscribe here.

CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may be firm about his agency’s commitment to seek out and prosecute purveyors of obscene materials, but Extreme Associates co-owner Robert Zicari is determined to come out on top once his case is settled by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“I’m a fighter,” Zicari told XBiz in an exclusive interview. “And I think they picked the wrong one to challenge.”

Zicari, wife Janet Romano and their company, Extreme Associates Inc., were charged with violating obscenity laws in a 10-count indictment.

The case, however, was dismissed last month by U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster of Pittsburgh. Lancaster ruled federal prosecutors overstepped their bounds while trying to block the company's hardcore movies from children and from adults who did not want to see such material.

But the government has appealed that ruling, and the 3rd Circuit has not yet decided whether to take the case.

Zicari, also known as Rob Black, said that it was obvious that the government would appeal the case because “there is so much riding on the government’s target — obscenity.”

“I think [the Justice Department] got a lot of heat when the judge threw the case out. Their case backfired,” Zicari said. “This case in not in the government’s favor. I think that the 3rd Circuit is apt to favor us. The [government] is the longshot — the odds are stacked up against them.”

Zicari said that because of the pending U.S. appeal, he doesn’t foresee any obscenity charges to be leveled against adult webmasters any time soon.

“The industry is safe for now,” Zicari said. “You won’t see many prosecutions of adult companies until my case goes down the pipeline.”

Meanwhile, Chatsworth, Calif.-based Extreme Associates’ business is looking up, he said.

“Business is great — even in the midst of this,” Zicari said. “In fact, it has kept the fire going with all of this renewed publicity.”