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Jury Finds ‘Gag Factor 18’ Obscene in Five Star Case

With all charges against private individuals already dropped, two Five Star corporate entities face fines, forfeiture of website domain.
Jury Finds ‘Gag Factor 18’ Obscene in Five Star Case
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Oct 25, 2007 6:15 PM PDT    Text size: 
PHOENIX —A Phoenix jury has found that Five Star Video and Five Star Video Outlet are guilty of interstate transportation of obscene materials and the interstate transportation of obscene material by common carrier, after shipping the JM Productions title “Gag Factor 18” to an FBI agent in Virginia.

The jury acquitted on two other JM titles, “Filthy Things 6” and “American Bukkake 13.” Attorney Jeffrey Douglas, who represented Five Star co-owner Ken Graham in the case, said that it was remarkable that the jury acquitted on the two titles, given the circumstances.

“A jury burdened with improper instructions and improperly deprived of evidence concerning comparable materials available in the community acquitted on two of the three remaining DVDs in the case,” Douglas told XBIZ. “That’s remarkable, I think.”

Douglas said that the judge, Rosalyn O. Silver, denied the defense the opportunity to show the jury most of the comparable materials acquired as evidence for the case and opined that the judge had done so improperly.

”Interviews with jurors after they had delivered their verdict indicated that if they had known that similar materials were available throughout the Phoenix area, this likely would have changed their vote,” Douglas said.

Despite his assessment of some of the judge’s ruling on evidentiary issues and the nature of her instructions to the jury, Douglas emphasized that the judge had ruled properly on several motions over the strenuous objections of government attorneys.

As there were no human defendants convicted in the trial, the penalty for the conviction likely will take the form of fines, forfeiture by Five Star of any copies of “Gag Factor 18” still in its possession (Douglas said Five Star has no remaining copies of the DVD) and forfeiture of the domain FiveStarDVD.com.

Douglas said that the fines imposed could range from “the inconsequential to the catastrophic,” and that whether Five Star chooses to appeal the conviction or not will depend largely on the amount of the fines imposed.

No date has been set for sentencing in the case, Douglas said, adding that such dates generally are set within 60 days of the jury’s verdict being delivered.

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