Adult DVD Empire Agrees to $75,000 Plea Deal, Probation

PITTSBURGH — A federal judge today fined Right Ascension $75,000 and placed the company on two years’ probation for mailing obscene material.

Owner and CEO of Right Ascension John Darcangelo agreed to have his company plead guilty to the charge.

Federal prosecutors filed the charges July 22 at U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, charging that the company, which operates, mailed four DVDs containing obscene material to an Erie post office box in May 2007.

Right Ascension’s attorney, Gary Zimmerman told the court that Right Ascension employs 72 people and screens each movie it receives from the studios and refuses to ship any DVDs it deems obscene.

Zimmerman told the court that these particular movies slipped through the company’s guidelines, but that Right Ascension has since strengthened its guidelines and expanded training for its screeners to make sure other obscene material doesn’t get distributed by the company.

Pamela Satterfield, an attorney with the Justice Department's Obscenity Task Force, agreed with the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

XBIZ spoke with Zimmerman who wouldn’t comment further on the case.