Kupps' Obscenity Case Proceeding 'Slowly'

Rhett Pardon

LAKE WALES, Fla. — A Florida circuit court still hasn't calendared a hearing based on Kimberly Kupps' motion to determine the geographic scope of  “community” as applied to her obscenity charges.

"The case has been proceeding very slowly," her attorney, Lawrence Walters, told XBIZ. "Some status conferences and discovery documents received, but no hearing on the motion yet."

Walters, in Kupps' defense, argues that a national community standard is more appropriate than a local one. He is hoping to build on the foundation laid in the U.S. vs. Kilbride case from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which requires the application of national community standards in Internet obscenity cases.

Kupps, whose legal name is Theresa Taylor, was charged in July with 13 felonies for violating the distribution  and sale of obscene material and one for the wholesale promotion of obscene material for content on her namesake site, KimberlyKupps.com.

The Polk County, Fla., Sheriff's Department had been investigating the big-boobs model and performer for three months after a deputy paid an initial $19.95 membership fee to her website. Florida Judge Reinaldo Ojeda reviewed Kupps' clips and signed off on arrest warrants after he deemed the content obscene.

After Kupps was arrested, the Polk County sheriff — Grady Judd — declared war on the production and distribution of porn in his county.

“We want a wholesome community here, we don’t want smut peddlers,” Judd said, “and if they try to peddle their smut from Polk County or into Polk County we’ll be on them like a cheap suit.”

Judd and the Sheriff's Department recently were let off the hook in a civil rights suit where EllenBeth Wachs, the legal coordinator for Athiests of Florida, accused Judd and his sheriff's force created a campaign of retaliation against her beliefs because she is an athiest.

Walters, who also represents Wachs, said that she dismissed the suit a week ago after the state dropped criminal charges against her for moaning from an open window.

Wachs, according to the charges, was moaning in her house, saying, “Oh, John," as a ploy to stop neighbors from playing basketball.

The Sheriff’s Department arrested her on a felony sex charge.

Wachs' suit elaborated on how Judd has been vigilant in seeking out individuals who don't go along with his philosophy, pointing to the Kupps case, as well as Phillip Greaves, author of "The Pedophile's Guide," who was arrested for obscenity last year.

"Judd has even gone to the lengths of investigating website operators and convenience store clerks who distribute common forms of adult-oriented media in their jurisdiction," the suit said.

Walters said that he believes that Judd has received the message that baseless arrests won't be supported by the State Attorney's office.

"Ultimately, we believe the complaint we filed in federal court helped tell the underlying story about how these arrests were retaliatory, and based solely on Ms. Wachs’ secular humanist beliefs," Walters said.

Walter noted that Wachs and her Atheists of Florida group is undertaking some of their own investigations of the Sheriff’s office’s practices.

"We’ll be standing by if the Sheriff decides to target our client again, or if our legal services become necessary again in the near future."