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Mar 03 2012

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LOS ANGELES: Is Beastiality and Calling/Using Women as Toilets Considered Obscene in America?? If Not, Maybe Our World Should End in 2012

–on the web

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from www.latimes.com – As the film was played on a big-screen monitor, jurors in the marble-lined federal courtroom shifted in their seats and averted their gazes, some staring up at the ceiling.

Many kept referring to a thick packet of transcripts on their laps, even during long stretches with no dialogue. One woman kept her hand shading her face throughout, only occasionally glancing at the screen.

The 12 jurors — including a bespectacled elderly woman wearing a Christmas-themed snowmen sweater — were given the task of deciding whether the movie, “Japanese Doggie 3 Way,” constituted obscenity in violation of federal law.

The film is one of four depicting bestiality and scatology that landed Ira Isaacs, the producer, distributor and sometimes actor in graphic sexual fetish films, in the defendant’s chair on charges of producing obscene material and mailing it across state lines. Screening the movies, each of which are 90 minutes to two hours long, made up the bulk of his trial this week in downtown Los Angeles.

The movies themselves — two of which are Isaacs’ own creations — are “the best evidence of what they represent,” U.S. District Judge George H. King told jurors.

On Friday, Isaacs took the witness stand in defense what he calls his art, which he said drew inspiration from such figures as Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg and Franz Kafka. The reaction of the viewers, discomfort and revulsion, was all part of his intent as a “shock artist,” he said.

“It tries to pose the basic question of ‘What is art?’ ” he said.

Isaacs’ testimony goes to the criminal definition of obscenity, which is defined by a three-part U.S. Supreme Court test: the material in question must appeal to prurient interest, be patently offensive and lack serious artistic, political or scientific value.

Department of Justice prosecutors, dispatched from Washington, D.C., for the trial, said the artistic claim was merely a “pretense” for what the former designer of coupon mailers discovered was a lucrative niche in the pornography world.

Isaacs, prosecutor Damon King contended, chose to take risks at the fringes of what is acceptable for the financial payoff.

“There is no question that the defendant was commercially exploiting this material for their prurient appeal,” King told jurors. “The defendant chose to exceed the limit of what the law allows.”

King also noted in cross-examining Isaacs that he advertised his website as “the Web’s largest fetish VHS, DVD superstore,” and read graphic descriptions of the scatological films on Isaacs’ site, which referred to women as toilets.

Isaacs’ attorney, Roger Diamond [pictured right], emphasized to jurors that the material must be evaluated from the perspective of “the average person, applying contemporary community standards.” He remarked that Los Angeles, where Isaacs ran his business, is a place where the pornography industry holds annual trade shows in the Convention Center.

Diamond also accused the government of relying on “emotional appeal” to prove the obscenity charge.

“It is pretty gross what you watched,” he said “It does have artistic value. Not to everybody, but art is not always pleasing.”

Outside court, Isaacs said he turned down plea offers from prosecutors that would have required him to serve as little as a few months’ house arrest because of his belief that the films were artistic and not obscene.

The case was initiated under a Bush administration task force — which has since been disbanded — created at the urging of Christian conservative groups. Isaacs was first scheduled to be tried in 2008, but proceedings were halted after a Times article revealed that the judge overseeing the trial maintained a personal website that contained some sexually explicit material.

Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, recused himself from the case and was publicly admonished by a special committee of his colleagues for actions they found were “judicially imprudent” and “exhibiting poor judgment.”

The eight-man, four-woman jury ranges in age from 29 to 75 and includes a teacher, welder and a financial analyst. It is expected to begin deliberating the case Monday morning.

Mark Kernes, a senior editor of Adult Video News who has been covering the trial extensively, shrugged when asked about the content of Isaacs’ films. In years of covering obscenity trials across the nation, he’s seen a wide range of extreme sexual content.

“Trends come and go, laws come and go,” he said.

Permanent link to this article: http://porninthevalley.com/2012/03/03/los-angeles-is-beastiality-and-callingusing-women-as-toilets-considered-obscene-in-america-if-not-maybe-our-world-should-end-in-2012/

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