Max Hardcore Jury Returns Guilty Verdict

Joanne Cachapero and Tod Hunter
TAMPA, Fla. — Jurors in the Max Hardcore obscenity trial have returned a verdict of guilty on 10 federal counts of distributing obscene materials over the Internet and through the mail.

His company, MaxWorld Enterprises, was also found guilty on 10 related counts.

"This is a sad day for America," Hardcore attorney Jeffrey Douglas told XBIZ. The lawyer was noticeably upset. "Like I said in my closing remarks, this was a shameful prosecution. I don't have anything else to say."

Hardcore told XBIZ that he was "OK."

Earlier today, the jury appeared to be undecided and conferred with the judge on several points before going back into deliberation.

"If we make a decision on 10 of the 20 counts, but are unable to reach a decision on the other 10, will the 10 counts that we decide on stand?'' the jury foreman asked Judge Susan C. Bucklew this afternoon, just after 3 p.m. EST.

The judge answered that the decisions they returned would stand, even if other counts were undecided.

The foremen indicated also that there were jurors “on both sides” of the issues, and that there was doubt that they could come to a unanimous decision.

He also asked the court how long the jury was expected to deliberate, to which the judge reportedly told the jury she would not tell them how long to deliberate, only that they should deliberate again.

Sources close to the case told XBIZ this morning that a decision might be imminent, but this afternoon, foreman asked the judge for a break, citing that emotions were running high in the deliberations. Lawyers for both sides were asked to stay in the courtroom, in case the jury should return with a verdict.

However, the jury returned just a short time ago with their verdict.

Other defense attorneys were unavailable for comment at post time.

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