Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adult Film Mogul: Obscene But Not Heard?

John Stagliano, taken at the AVN Expo, January...Image via Wikipedia
Now playing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for the first time in more than two decades--an adult porn obscenity trial.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon (a graduate of "TUOL"'s law school) is hearing the government's case against adult film producer John Stagliano.  As reported in The National Law Journal, Stagliano was indicted in federal court in April 2008, on seven counts of distributing obscene, sexually graphic videos through his two companies, Evil Angel Productions and John Stagliano, Inc.

One of many porno producers targeted by the Bush Administration Justice Dept., Stagliano faces up to 32 years in prison if convicted. Two DVDs--Jay Sin's Milk Nymphos and Joey Silvera's Storm Squirters 2 (not to be confused with the opera of the same name), are obscene, according to the government, in that, taken as a whole, they lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value, which is the obscenity standard set by the Supreme Court in Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973). The videos allegedly include scenes depicting bondage, urination and enema use (though apparently not in a way fans of House and ER would recognize).

Attorneys for Stagliano fault federal obscenity law standards as being too vague to control Internet speech, and hasten to add that the performers in the video were consenting adults engaged in sexual acts not in and of themselves illegal. Judge Leon previously balked at dismissing the indictment, finding that the federal obscenity laws were not unconstitutionally vague as applied to Internet speech.

The trial is not expected to supplant the Washington Monument or the Smithsonian as a favorite tourist attraction among the throngs of D.C.'s summer visitors.

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