An Open Letter From Ira Isaacs
At the time I'm writing this letter, the outcome of my trial is unknown. The jury will make their decision soon.
First, I want to say, I love porn, I've watch porn since the early 70s, the time of John Holms, Ron Jeremy Harry Reems, and my all time favorite Porn Icon Jamie Gillis. Gillis an artistic genus, explored. the dark side of human sexually - Gillis was not afraid to explore the edge and sometime went over it.
But diid you know, that Gillis produced and stared in over 9 Scat Movies, Thats right Jamie Gillis , Artist, innovator, shit in girls mouths, filmed and sold it.
The "Walling Toilet " series ( 5 in all ) show Gllis defecating in a women mouth and then smearing the feces on the girl - the exact same type of movies that I produce the same type movies I'm being prosecuted for. ( e-mail if you want a free download of this movie )
It use to be the porn industry would celebrate innovators like Jamie Gillis, now they condemn them Multimillion dollar Porn Concerns like " Vivid " and the like, seem only to care about profits, artists like Gillis, myself, Rob Black, Max Hardcore and others threaten there billion dollar empire . Innovation and artistic risk have no place in todays porn industry. Mediocre porn is todays goal and there is no room for producers and directors who challenge a mainstream producer like " Viviid ". Vivid is more concerned with words like " Brand " and " Franchise "
then words like " Art " and " Innovation ". They want to be respectable and accepted so badly, they are willing to through anyone under the bus who threaten them.
A little background on my case - in 1999 I started a adult fetish distribution business I would acquire fetish dvds from Europe and Japan and sold them over the internet. I'm still in business today and hope to remain in business tomorrow. Below is a brief timeline of my case, some dates are approximations. This is offered as a general background not a legal document.
January 17th 2007 - the FBI raids my offices in Korea town - approxamedialy 20 or so agents from the D.C. FBI, local FBI, and LAPD, search my offices under the pretense to see my 2257 info ( Model Release and model IDs ). They asked me if I wanted a lawyer. I say I didn't need one and answered all there questions for the next 3 hours. I was not arrested
March 2007 - Met with 2 Local prosecutors and D.C. prosecutor to discuss plea offer.
I was facing 8 felony accounts including 2 2257 and 6 obscenity violations totaling a possible 40 years in prison.
They offered me 18 month prison time. I said No. A few day later they offered me 4 months house arrest and 4 months prison time I said no
July 24, 2007. I was indicated on obscenity and 2257 violations - The DOJ offered me 5 months house arrest and 5 months prison plus a $20,000 fine. I said, if I declined 4 months and 4 months plea, why would I take a worse deal like 5 and 5 months. They said because Now your indicted.
I was not interest in a plea, after all Im not guilty and saw this as an opportunity to stand up for something important. Also around this time local prosecutors dropped out of the case and only the DOJ from D.C. was handling it by themselves
February 2008 - They dropped the 2257 in light of a another court ruling that 2257 was too broad etc. ( I guess - I was not privy to there exact reason )
March 2008 - Chief Judge of the 9th circuit Alex Kozinski takes over the case. Trial was schedules for June 9, 2008
June 9 2008 - Jury selection take 2 days.
June 11, 2008 - Opening statements - prosecution begins calling there witness almost 2 movies played. L A Times front page story comes out about Kozinski storing porn on his private non public server
June 13 2008 - Kozinskii declare a mistrial
August 2008 - I file a double jeopardy claim to the 9th circuit
December 22 2009 - 9th circuit denies my double jepordity appeal
February 2010 - Appeal 9th circuit decision to US Supreme court
June 28,2010 - Supreme Court declines to hear case
September 2010 - New Trial is set for May 2011
October 2010 - DOJ prosecutor Ken Whitted is off the case and Grant Ward ( chief of obscenity task force ) and Bonnie Hartmen takes over case for DOJ
They offer me 3 months house arrest no prison time as a plea. I turn them down after considering the deal very seriously.
I believe in the 1st amendment-and America's promise of freedom of Speech and its hypocrisy of limiting our freedom of speech under the excuse of obscenity
April 2011 - 2 new attorney for the DOJ were assign to my case
I was then again indicted again on old and new movies
May 17 2011 - Trial was delayed in light of new charges - new trial set for February 27, 2012
February 27, 2012 - Trial starts
March 2, 2012 - trial ends goes to jury
5 years have gone by since I was raided by the FBI.
Why is my Obscenity case so important to companies like Vivid and the porn industry in General
Before there 2 trials ( Hardcore and Stagliano), I had talked to Max Hardcore on the phone and to wish him good luck - he did the same - we were both connected for ever, by being the witches in the governments witch hunt. I called John Stagliano to wish him good luck as well, left a message with his office. but never got a return call. I'm not surprised
As far as I know, Max and Stagliano were never offered any plea deals. The Bush administration and groups like Morality in the Media, religious crazies, and the like, want to scare the adult industry into submission. The mission was to shut the porn business down. Max's trial shows that the government can win without the defendant even distributing the movies themselves. He just had a server in there uptight florida community
Many in the industry would say Hardcore is too extreme He treats the girls too rough, of course the government wants him, what do you expect Max is over the line. The porn industry will be fine just as long as we follow the " Vivid " safe model for content. But is it really safe?
Then they come for Stagliano - -What - Wait a Minute - Evil Angel is mainstream porn, a great company, John is a genus, what Henry Ford did for the motor car Staglina did for the butt - How can this be, I though it was only the extreme porn like Max and this Isaacs guy they were interested in prosecuting, not mainstream porn.
After convicting Max the message was, in the right venue, we can get you, even if you didn't actually distribute the material, just being connect with it in some way is enough. Max was a big win for the government. now its time to go after more main stream producers like Evil Angel and if we win, dare we say the holy Grail of Porn " "Vivid "
The religious right got there first witch ( Hardcore ), now its time to move up the porn food chain " Stagliano "
The governments defeat in the Evil Angel case, was a big victory for free speech advocates, however a lot of bad case law came from the trial
First, the prosecution was able to convince the judge to ignore the Miller test's * taken as a whole " and left the prosecution to play the most bias part of the
movie without playing the full movie in open court ( Hardcore judge allowed the same thing )
The prosecution in my case tried the exact same move citing case law from the Stagliano trial.
But the judge in my case felt "taken as a whole" means the entire movies must be played in open court
This is good case law, that will help the next victim of the next obscenity prosecution.
Second, the government convince the judge in the Stagliano case that expert witness both for the prosecution and the defense were not necessary in an obscenity case.
My case establish that even though the prosecution may not need experts, the defense was sure to be allowed to use them.
Many people believe that I'm responsible for the heat coming to the porn industry. If only extreme producers would go away the industry will be safe from obscenity prosecutions
Actually, the opposite is true. The government wanted a prosecution in Los Angeles, the porn capitol, to show the porn industry giants, like Vivid, that even in there home turf they can win a obscenity case. They pick me because they though I would be a slam dunk win.
I would lay down and take there plea and not fight them. They were wrong, I stood up for all our rights to watch what we want. I was fighting for you, but you the porn industry seem more concerned about you looked then any free speech rights.
I wasn't an important player in the adult business. In fact the religious right criticized the DOJ for wasting it time on a small fringe producer like myself. They really want you Vivid and not me. I was a necessary casualty of the war against sex by the religious right
I'm risking serious prison time, so the government thinks twice before coming for you. I could have sit in my house for 3 months on house arrest, instead of putting my personal freedom on the line. I'm fighting for rights of artists to take risks and not have to worry about the government prosecuting them.
It amazes me that the Free Speech Coalition will not mention my case in any of there writing or events concerning obscenity cases.
Either they never heard of my case, which is doubtful, since I've been on the front page of the L A times 4 times. Articles and interviews with media like Salon.com, Radar on line . Boing Boing etc, local TV local Radio etc. My case is the highest profile case in the history of the US according to Boing Boing.com. And if thats not enough XBIZ has been writing stories for 5 years, and last week congress and the AG mention my case by name
Obscenity prosecutions is a major concern for the adult industry and the FSC, and yet they act like i don't exist
If my attorney Roger Diamond never heard of Max Hardcore, John Stagliano, Rob Black, JM, Harb Brothers and other, he would be fired for being incompetent.
Why do they ignore my case, because they believe I make the adult industry look bad, it seems they are more concerned about how they look rather then real Free speech issues that effect all of us. They are a more like a PR firm for the adult industry than advocates of Free Speech for everyone
Like Larry Flint of old. I'm putting my ass on the line for your free speech rights. If i lose my case, it will just embolden the government to go after more mainstream adult producers, especially if a republican wins the presidency in November.
For the few who support me, you can e-mail me at email@example.com ( don't worry I wont reveal who you are ) and for all others to quote Bob Dylan " Don't think Twice it's Alright