Stagliano Trial Prosecutors Rest Case

WASHINGTON — The government rested its case today in the obscenity trial of John Stagliano but not before a prosecutor for the government, Pamela Satterfield, had been put into a tough bind.

Tasked to figure out a solution to the problem of FBI agent Daniel Bradley’s inaccurate statement the day before regarding the issue of the judge giving him instructions via Satterfield, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon gave her two options: draft an affidavit stating she did not tell Bradley that the judge wants him to re-review the films or take the stand as a witness to deny it, effectively forcing her to drop out of the case.

Initially this morning the government agreed to draft an affidavit and took a five-minute break to draft it. But after two hours, in front of an angry judge, Satterfield reiterated she could not sign the affidavit that was a simple denial of the statement because it would violate the professional code of conduct for employees of the Justice Department.

In the end Satterfield relented to the affidavit. The jury was brought in, Leon told them that an inaccurate statement had been made by the witness and that he had not given Bradley any instruction or directed Satterfield to tell Bradley anything.

Then Leon read Satterfield’s affidavit denying she told Bradley that the judge directed him to re-review the video or prepare in any way for the case. With that, the government rested the case and the jury was released until 2:30 p.m.

Then the Rule 29 hearings began in which the defense can challenge that the government has not yet met the burden of proof to continue the case.

Much of the time was spent on arguments by Allan Gelbard, attorney for Evil Angel Productions.

“They’ve indicted a defunct corporation,” Gelbard told the court.

At issue is whether both Evil Angel Productions, as a corporate entity exists, which the defense claims that it doesn’t anymore, and whether it had anything to do with the possession and distribution of the films.

H. Louis Sirkin began making such arguments on behalf of John Stagliano, Inc, that the government had not proved that his client had any involvement with how the movies ended up in Washington.

Leon broke for lunch and will hear the rest of the Rule 29 challenges this afternoon.