Obscenity case against "horror porn" auteurs dropped

The first federal obscenity case against an adult filmmaker in over a decade was dismissed yesterday when a federal judge ruled that charges against shock-smut company Extreme Associates were unconstitutional.

Because people have a right to view such material in the privacy of their own home, there's a right to market it, U.S. District Court Judge Gary L. Lancaster said in dismissing the case against Robert Zicari and Janet Romano, both of Northridge, Calif., and their company, Extreme Associates. Lancaster said prosecutors overstepped their bounds while trying to block the material from children and from adults who didn't want to see such material inadvertently.

The judge also found that the state cannot ban material simply because it finds it objectionable, based on the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2003 ruling that struck down a state ban on gay sex. The Supreme Court's ruled that the ban was an unconstitutional violation of privacy.

Link to AP story, Link to AVN's coverage, Link to PDF of case, Link to an interview with defendant Rob Zicari (aka Rob Black) on the PBS television show Frontline, Link to interview with co-defendant Janet Romano (aka Lizzie Borden), Link to the original AP report of charges, and link to case history on Extreme Associates website.

Link to related coverage by Xeni: Wired News, NPR (partial transcript published on AVN). (Thanks, Susannnah). See also this related coverage on Fleshbot: Link.