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Jul. 16 2010 - 6:42 pm | 4,291 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

All obscenity charges dismissed against porn director John Stagliano and Co.

John Stagliano at the "Free Speech Coalit...

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In a stunning turn, all charges have been dropped against adult movie director John Stagliano, who went on trial in a Washington, DC courtroom this week, where he faced a series of federal obscenity charges.

AVN.com [NSFW] reports the news:

Describing the prosecution’s evidence as “woefully inadequate,” Judge Richard J. Leon this afternoon granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and dismissed the five and a half remaining counts of the indictments against Stagliano, John Stagliano Inc. and Evil Angel Productions Inc.

The trial had been a farce from start to finish. Earlier in the week, prosecutors were unable to figure out how to properly play a CD featuring a trailer for “Fetish Fanatic 5,” resulting in the dismissal of several of the counts. Along the way, DC jurors watched highlights from “Storm Squirters 2: Target Practice,” in which porn starlets squirted into one another’s mouths, and “Milk Nymphos,” in which:

one of the women used a plastic syringe to insert milk into another performer’s ass, which was then “excreted”; that in another scene, a woman used an “enema-shaped object” to inject the milk, which also was “excreted,” while in the final scene, two women looking for “milkshakes” wind up in an apartment where milk is siphoned into a woman’s ass through a tube and … you guessed it.

Finally, it was revealed that prosecutor Pamela Satterfield had seemingly lied to FBI special agent Daniel Bradley, the agent who had originally ordered the suspected obscene adult materials, when she had previously instructed the agent to review key materials in the case because, she claimed, the case’s presiding judge, Richard J. Leon, had told her to tell Bradley to do so. In court, an apparently highly agitated Leon angrily denied ever having instructed Satterfield to do any such thing, and, earlier today, Satterfield submitted an affidavit stating that Leon had not, in fact, given her any such instructions. Not long after, Leon dismissed the five and half remaining charges against Stagliano et al. and the case came to an end.

The Stagliano case was slated to be the obscenity trial of the 21st century. Now that the internet has turned “community standards” into an antiquated notion and sexual taboos have all but fallen by the wayside, it seems increasingly unlikely that the notion of “obscenity” can be taken seriously, especially in a court of law. In a way, the case’s odd end was wishfully predicted, at least in adult movie industry circles, a symbol of the Obama administration’s level of interest in pursuing obscenity cases: nonexistent.

Of course, only time will tell how the US government’s do-what-you-like attitude will trickle down to effect the day-to-day slog of working in the porn business. Historically, a slow down in obscenity prosecutions has led to an increase in pornographers creating increasingly provocative and extreme content, a trend likely to be furthered as the adult industry struggles to stay afloat in the wake of the economic downturn. Surely, liberals will posit the Stagliano dismissal as a win for First Amendment fans — and then they can go right back to turning a blind eye to what’s really going down in Porn Valley.


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