Stagliano Obscenity Case Goes to Trial in July

Mar 23, 2010 6:15 PM PST
WASHINGTON — A federal judge this afternoon set a July 7 trial date for the obscenity case against John Stagliano and his two production companies, Evil Angel Productions Inc. and John Stagliano Inc.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, at a status conference in Washington at 3 p.m., set the trial date one month and one day after he rejected Stagliano's claim that federal obscenity laws are unconstitutional.

Leon said last month that obscene material is not protected by the 1st Amendment.

"Having considered the defendants' overbreath of arguments, I am not convinced that such strong medicine is warranted in this case," Leon said. "Nor am I convinced that the federal obscenity statutes are unconstitutionally vague as applied to Internet speech."

But Leon in last month's hearing said he is certain that the online material will be judged "as a whole" and not individually according to obscenity laws, eliminating Stagliano's concerns that the trailer would be taken out of context.

With the ruling, federal prosecutors will have to show that the trailer is obscene in the context of the web page, Leon said.

Stagliano and his companies were indicted on seven counts for illegal possession, distribution and sale of the obscene materials, but they claim that federal laws criminalizing the interstate trafficking of obscenity are unconstitutional.

FBI agents used the defendants' website to order two films, "Milk Nymphos" and "Storm Squirters 2 'Target Practice.'" An FBI agent in Washington also downloaded a free trailer called "Fetish Fanatic Chapter 5."

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