Testimony Begins in Isaacs Obscenity Case

LOS ANGELES — A jury was selected and testimony began today in fetish filmmaker Ira Isaac's obscenity trial.

Isaacs third trial on obscenity charges began today with opening statements and some cross examination.

After jurors left the courtroom this afternoon, the structure of the trial was formally determined: Federal prosecutors and Isaacs' counsel agreed to show two movies Wednesday morning, with some testimony taken in the afternoon.

On Thursday, the final two movies will be shown in the morning, with Isaacs' testimony beginning Thursday afternoon.

Isaacs told XBIZ several weeks ago that he would take the stand in his own defense, saying he may "give the jury a lesson in art" and telegraph to them that "if the artist says it's art, it's art."

Deliberations could begin as early as Friday in the seven-count indictment over Isaac's distribution of  "Mako’s First Time Scat," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #7," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #1" and "Japanese Doggie 3 Way."

The fetish filmmaker and retailer all along has contended that the works he has been charged with have artistic value and can't be deemed obscene.

The second day of the trial got under way after U.S. District Judge George King firmed up the jury pool by dismissing some potential jurors for cause or logistical reasons.

After a recess, the 12 jurors and four alternates heard preliminary instructions on their work as jurors, as well as a description of the three-prong Miller test. He cautioned jurors that they must not apply their own standards to the material.

Opening statements began with federal prosecutor Michael Grant, who said that Isaacs all along was selling and distributing the movies charged to make money and not because he was devoted to art.

Isaacs counsel Roger Jon Diamond later said that Grant's charge that Isaacs was "only in it for the money" was ridiculous because all businesses strive to make money. He also noted that Isaacs sold the films and others to consenting adults who ordered them.

After cross examining Grant, King dismissed the jury for the day.

The case, U.S. vs. Isaacs, continues at 8:30 a.m. at U.S. District Court, 255 E. Temple St., Los Angeles.