Attorney Larry Walters, part of the defense team representing McCowen, told XBIZ that the case is one that the entire adult Internet industry should be concerned about.
“The issues in this case have the potential to significantly impact the legality of adult website production for years to come,” Walters said. “Not since the early adult film industry battles in California has a case arisen that has so much potential precedential effect.”
Walters encouraged donations to McCowen’s legal defense fund saying that the “industry has a unique opportunity to help influence the outcome of this case and ensure that Ray Guhn has the necessary resources to fight this censorship effort the right way.”
In a recent public statement, the first issued by McCowen concerning the case, McCowen blasted the prosecution as hypocritical, and asserted that the prosecutor is “using his position of power and trust in an attempt to legislate his version of morality on the rest of the nation.”
“The 1st Amendment is under attack by an Escambia prosecutor who has demonstrated no ethical concern, creating charges based on his personal opinion of morality,” McCowen said. “The prosecutor is using his position of power and trust in an attempt to legislate his version of morality on the rest of the nation. This misuse of authority is wrong, contrary to our constitution and bad for our country.”
McCowen proclaimed that he is not guilty of any of the charges pending against him and asserted that the prosecutor has added charges of drug distribution, prostitution and money laundering simply because the “original predicate [charge] of obscenity will not withstand a court’s scrutiny, so he created additional charges, a year after my arrest, hoping that something might stick.”
McCowen was arrested in June 2006 on charges of manufacturing and selling obscene materials, solicitation for prostitution and racketeering. The indictment later was amended to include money laundering charges predicated on receipt of money from the operation of websites that offered the allegedly obscene material at question in the case.
The defense has filed a variety of motions in the case, including a petition asking the 1st U.S. District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee to direct the trial court to cease exercising jurisdiction over the obscenity offenses and other pre-trial motions.
The court has set a trial date of May 5 and has set aside 14 days to hear the case.
For the full text of McCowen’s statement, visit RayGuhnDefenseFund.com