Torture Portal Operator to Be Arraigned Next Tuesday

Aug 11, 2009 1:00 PM PST
NEWARK, N.J. — Torture Portal operator Barry Goldman, who was hit with eight counts of mailing DVDs containing allegedly obscene films from Jersey City to addresses in Montana and Virginia, will be arraigned next Tuesday.

The noontime arraignment will be held in front of U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Greenway Jr. at the Newark federal courthouse.

Miami resident Goldman, 59, was indicted by a federal grand jury last month for 18 U.S.C. § 1461 and § 1467 include the films “Torture of a Porn Store Girl,” “Defiant Crista Submits” and “Pregnant and Willing.” The videos all were mailed in 2006 and 2007.

The Justice Department is seeking forfeitures of all copies of the movies, as well as proceeds from the sale of the movies. They also are seeking the forfeitures of domain names MastersOfPain.com and TorturePortal.com, as well as an email address, SirBNY@aol.com.

The case, originally filed in Montana after another federal grand jury indicted him last year, was moved to New Jersey.

Billings, Mont.-based Judge Richard Cebull, according to a report, transferred the case to New Jersey because there was no apparent connection to Montana aside from undercover FBI agents asking Goldman to send the DVDs there. Cebull noted that an undercover FBI agent from Virginia first met Goldman at a 2006 adult entertainment convention in Las Vegas.

Prosecutors moved for a stay of Cebull’s order and then filed a mid-case appeal with the 9th Circuit, asking the court to expedite its consideration of the issue, the report said. After the judges agreed to hear arguments in early June, the Justice Department abruptly reversed course, saying that the indictment should never have been sought in Montana in the first place.

Prosecutors noted that policy, dating to 1979 or earlier and included in the U.S. Attorney’s Manual, said postal obscenity cases “should not ordinarily” be filed in the district where an undercover agent had materials sent unless the defendant had some other contacts with that district.

Greenway, the jurist who will hear Goldman's arraignment, is a Clinton appointee who in June was nominated by President Obama to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate has not yet acted on the nomination.

Greenway has been involved with a number of 1st Amendment cases in his career as a federal judge, including an obscenity case in which he was overruled by the 3rd Circuit. In that case, the jurist determined 264 French and German nudist magazines were legally obscene and could properly be seized by government officials.

The magazines, shipped to book distributor Alessandra's Smile Inc., contained numerous photos of nude persons, including male and female minors, in naturalistic settings.

But, on appeal, the 3rd Circuit reversed his ruling on the grounds that the case didn’t pass the Miller test under the points articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 1973 decision.

If convicted, Goldman faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each of the eight counts charged in the indictment.

XBIZ was unable to reach Goldman by post time, and it is unclear whether he will retain his federal public defender.

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