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Vixen Direct Owner Faces Firearm Charges

New Zealand's "porn czar" says it was target practice.
Vixen Direct Owner Faces Firearm Charges
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Sep 4, 2007 11:45 AM PDT    Text size: 
AUCKLAND, N.Z. —Adult businessman Steve Crowe on Friday pleaded not guilty to six counts connected to illegal use of firearms after a judge denied motions to dismiss the charges.

Crowe, owner of adult distribution/production company Vixen Direct, is charged with two counts of firearms licensing violations and two counts of illegal possession of a pistol, as well as two counts of discharging a firearm near a residence in order to “annoy or frighten the inhabitants.”

The charges are the result of an Aug. 20 incident in which Crowe was visiting a friend’s ranch and fired a gun. Police claimed a sheep on the ranch died in relation to the incident, but a veterinarian was unable to determine the sheep’s cause of death.

“I did some target practice on a mate's farm,” Crow said outside of the court.

Crowe is a controversial figure in his native New Zealand.

In 2003, he first drew attention by reportedly planning to produce an adult film that would include footage of a pregnant female performer giving birth.

In July, Crowe sought to sell shares of Vixen Direct on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in order to raise $5 million to expand his adult retail businesses.

Recently, he cast his hat into the ring for Auckland’s mayoral elections and founded a political party called 1Auckland.com.

Crowe also is a key player behind New Zealand’s only adult industry convention, Erotica Expo, which was held on in late August. He also is an organizer of the Boobs on Bikes parade. The parade, which Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard has called “morally repugnant,” is the opening event of the Erotica Expo and was held on Aug. 23 after being green-lighted by the Auckland City Council.

If Crowe is convicted on any of the pending charges, he may have to secure a special visa in order to travel to the U.S. for business, and authorities might still prevent him from entering the country.

Crowe was released on bail with residential conditions and ordered to appear on Oct. 3 for a status hearing.

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