Ray Guhn Pleads Not Guilty
Prosecutors dropped charges in Escambia County earlier this month and re-filed them at the Santa Rosa County Courthouse, where Guhn and four other men made their not-guilty plea.
Circuit Judge Ron Swanson set the trial for Jan. 7.
Lawrence Walters, Guhn's attorney, told XBIZ he believed the move was an attempt at venue shopping for a more favorable judge or jury; however, Assistant State Attorney Russ Edgar said he chose Santa Rosa because the various charges took place in three different locations.
"The common denominator of the criminal acts alleged was Santa Rosa County," Edgar said.
Walters' priority, he said, is to have the case transferred back to Escambia County. He said that the state constitution declares defendants have the right to choose which venue in which to be prosecuted, as long as it is available, and Escambia County clearly is available.
Walters said he has filed a motion to transfer, and Circuit Judge Ron Swanson has set a Sept. 17 hearing for it.
Walters said that the money laundering charges, which were just filed a few weeks ago, are more serious than any of Guhn's other charges. He said Florida law states that if a person profits from the commission of any crime — including obscenity — then the government can claim money laundering is taking place.
"If all material is presumed to be protected by the constitution until declared illegal by the judge or jury, then how could my client have had any idea that there was any attempt to money launder?" Walters said.
Though it's unfortunate that the charges have reached this extent, he said, this case is becoming more important because there never before has been one like it.
Edgar agreed, calling it a "case of first impression" that could create a legal precedent.
"This combination of charges has not been presented before," Edgar said. "It has long been against the law to make and sell obscene material. It has long been against the law to engage in prostitution, and certainly it has long been against the law to deliver controlled substances. But have we ever seen a case with all of these in combination? No."
Guhn, whose real name is Clinton McCowan, was arrested last year on charges of racketeering, engaging in prostitution and the manufacture and sale of obscene material. The arrest culminated a months-long investigation into the operations of Guhn's company, Global Technologies Inc., doing business as Ray Guhn Productions. The website that he shot content for, CumOnHerFace.com, is part of the Cash Titans affiliate program, which he owned.
If convicted, Guhn could face up to 60 years in prison with an additional 30 for money laundering.
Kevin Patrick Stevens, Andrew Kevin Draft, William Lee Beach and Thomas W. Dwyer also have been charged in the case. Jane Marie Dreka has an additional charge of possessing crystal methamphetamine.