Appelate Court Dismisses Appeal in Mike Jones Case

Gretchen Gallen
MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill. – Signaling a possible end to former CD Babes owner Mike Jones' four-year entanglement with the Illinois judicial system, an Appellate Court dismissed the state's appeal to unsupress evidence in the case.

Jones was indicted on obscenity and child pornography charges in 2001 after having his home and offices raided by police. At the time of the raid, police seized adult tapes, financial records, videotapes, floppy disks and computers, much of which were later used as evidence against him.

According to Jones' attorney, J.D. Obenberger, the dismissal came after the state failed to file its appeal on time, even after presiding Judge Sharon Prather allowed for an extension.

"All that is left is some of the shouting at this point," Obenberger told XBiz. "But the case is over with, and I'd be very surprised if it wasn't. You could even call me a monkey's uncle if it isn't."

Obenberger added that the case first went into decline for the prosecution when they waited too long to ask Prather to reconsider her decision on the suppression of evidence taken from the Jones' household.

In January 2004, Prather ordered all evidence seized from the raid on Jones' property suppressed after ruling that the search warrant used at the time was overbroad.

Prather determined in her ruling that the search warrant used in the Jones case authorized a "general search" for obscene and underage materials, but that it lacked particularity that might direct and limit the officers as to what they were to seize.

She further determined that the search amounted to an improper prior restraint on free speech without adequate judicial oversight.

Obenberger told XBiz at the time of Prather's ruling that the officers at the scene seized adult tapes held for private purposes in two bedrooms, seized the computer that Jones' 14-year-old daughter used for schoolwork, and a laundry list of other irrelevant materials.

Obenberger called the case "wholly irregular prosecution" and expressed serious doubt over whether the state would appeal to the Supreme Court.

"This is a substantial victory for Jones and it makes it very difficult for the state to do anything after this point," Obenberger said, adding that his client could still be prosecuted on obscenity for the BDSM images or other images found on his website by authorities, but even that was doubtful at this juncture.

Following the court's decision, the state has within 21 days to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court – or within 35 days if they file a motion to do so.