Ira Isaacs Won't Face 2-Level Sentencing Hike
LOS ANGELES — U.S. prosecutors in the Ira Isaacs obscenity case conceded Friday they won't press "vulnerable victim" sentencing adjustments that would have raised the penalty for his obscenity convictions substantially.
Justice Department attorneys two months ago planned to introduce testimony from Veronica Jett and another former adult performer named April that they never would have taken part in several scat films if they had not been high after allegedly being fed drugs by Isaacs at the time of the filming such videos as the "Hollywood Scat Amateurs" series.
U.S. prosecutors, with the introduction of performer testimony, had attempted to sway a judge to enhance Isaacs' sentencing two levels to seven years and three months by using the theory that "vulnerable victims" were exploited in the commission of federal offenses. Isaacs attorney, Roger Jon Diamond, had asked for a reduction in sentencing.
But U.S. District Judge George King said "drug addiction by itself does not appear sufficient to vitiate consent" and that the government could not prove whether the former porn stars were victims of the offenses or co-participants.
King set forth a "tentative view" that the vulnerable victim sentencing adjustment does not apply in this case because if Jett and April consented to performing in the films, then as consenting adults who helped produce obscene materials, they are better characterized as co-participants in the offenses than as victims, he ruled.
On Friday, Justice Department attorneys responded to the court's "tentative view," saying that "because the government is unable to meet its evidentiary burden to establish that [the performers'] addiction to methamphetamine was a factor that was unusual for individuals who participate in the making of obscene films, the enhancement does not apply in the case at bar."
Federal prosecutors noted in a brief Friday that both Jett and April could have been prosecuted as aiders and abettors for their 2004 participation in “Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 7,” and “Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 10,” with respect to Isaacs' charges of producing and selling obscene matter.
Isaacs was found guilty in April on five counts of violating federal obscenity laws over the distribution of "Mako’s First Time Scat, " "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #7," "Hollywood Scat Amateurs #10" and "Japanese Doggie 3 Way."
It was the third obscenity trial for the distributor and producer, who all along contended that the works he had been charged with have artistic value and can't be deemed obscene. The first two ended with mistrials.
A court date set for Isaacs's sentencing has not yet been set.