Home > News > Plaintiff Seeks Dismissal of Louisiana Charge • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Plaintiff Seeks Dismissal of Louisiana Charge

Plaintiff Seeks Dismissal of Louisiana Charge
Get XBIZ News
May 8, 2005 12:38 PM PDT    Text size: 
ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. – Owners of two Louisiana video stores are hoping that community standards definitions will be deemed too broad so that obscenity charges against them will be dismissed.

Chicago lawyer J.D. Obenberger, counsel for Le Video Store owner Emmette Jacob, has filed a motion to dismiss charges against his client on the grounds that Louisiana communities, arranged in parishes, have not defined their standards. What’s more, he said, it is unclear to which community’s standard Jacob’s actions should be held. “Is it the whole state of Louisiana, or is it Acadiana, or is it just St. Martin Parish, or St. Martin Parish and Iberia Parish?” Obenberger asked.

Jacob and another video store owner, Edward Burleigh, were formally charged with obscenity in December when their employees agreed to testify against them to avoid jail time. Only Jacob has appealed the ruling, with Burleigh hoping a successful appeal would similarly lead to dismissal of charges against him.

American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana director Joe Cook said he believes that the state's obscenity law is ready for a challenge. “I think the statute is suspect,” he said.

Applying what is known as the LAPS test for obscenity, Obenberger’s dismissal motion refers to a definition of obscenity as anything that the "average person, applying contemporary community standards," would find appeals to a base interest and has no literary, artistic, political or scientific value, granting that the community in question must be properly defined.

Le Video Store and Burleigh’s Video Place have been open since the early 1980s. Following a sting operation last summer in which employees of both stores sold or rented pornographic tapes or DVDs to minors, including one film St. Martin Parish prosecutor Chester Cedars described as “a woman having sex with a horse,” the charges against both stores elevated from the specific to the general.

Illegal sales, taken individually, carried a lesser charge and fine scenario. A finding of illegal obscenity could close the stores.

Lafayette attorney William Goode, Jacob’s other lawyer, does not take issue with the original charge of illegal sale but with obscenity. “It’s a First Amendment freedom-of-speech issue, which is very important to all of us,” he said. “When you start limiting what people can look at and what people can say, it becomes a slippery slope. The First Amendment is not the First Amendment by accident.”

Jacob’s and Burleigh’s stores are not the only ones in the Lafayette/St. Martin Parish area to face obscenity charges. Ryan Hargroder of Lafayette’s The Bad Kitty had his store shut down and his tapes and DVDs confiscated by the District Attorney’s office.

“If you can make the movies under the First Amendment, you should be able to sell the movies under the First Amendment,” Hargroder said.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Adult Biz Faces More Obstacles Past Prop. 60 Battle

On Feb. 1, I completed 365 days as the Free Speech Coalition’s executive director. It was a turbulent first year, and when I received the 2017 XBIZ Industry Leadership Award I was startled, humbled... More »

Ad Networks: A Look at Compliance Issues

Among the major concerns of online marketers when evaluating advertising creatives are the return on investment, click-through and engagement rates, (re)targeting and opportunities for micro-tuning monetization.... More »

Ad Networks: Maximizing Precious Time and Resources

For traffic-savvy adult website operators and marketers, buying ad space and premium placement on select sites is a proven method for attracting audiences. This has traditionally involved studying a site’s... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.



Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!