August 7, 2003

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan commended for charging Los Angeles-based pornographer with obscenity violations


NEW YORK (7 August 2003) – Robert W. Peters, President of Morality in Media, and Dorn Checkley, President of Pittsburgh Coalition Against Pornography, had these comments on today’s announcement by U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan that her Pittsburgh office has initiated a Federal obscenity prosecution against Extreme Associates, a Los Angeles-based pornographer:

“The federal obscenity prosecution announced today by Mary Beth Buchanan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is the first case involving a Los Angeles-based commercial distributor of allegedly obscene material in more than a decade. Ms. Buchanan is to be commended for her action.

“Los Angeles is the hardcore pornography production ‘capital’ of the nation and world, and during the successful effort waged by federal prosecutors against distributors of illegal obscenity between 1987 and 1993, Los Angeles-based hardcore pornographers were a primary target for prosecutions.

“Obscenity violations are not ‘victimless crimes.’ Individuals harmed include ‘porn performers’ (many in their teens), children and adults who become addicted to hardcore pornography, children and adults who are sexually abused and raped by hardcore pornography addicts, spouses of hardcore pornography addicts, and men and women who acquire (directly or indirectly) STDs, including AIDS, from sexual activities in ‘adult’ businesses. Commercial distribution of obscenity also erodes the right of every American to live and work in a decent society and pours millions into the coffers of organized crime.

“Another theme espoused by defenders of hardcore pornography is that the widespread availability of this material is proof of community acceptance. If that is true, then most Americans must now accept (and presumably often enjoy) hardcore sex material that is ‘DIRTY, FILTHY, NASTY, SMUTTY, LEWD, EXPOSED, RAUNCHY, DECADENT, NAUGHTY,’ as one pornographer described its product line in a paid ad. Other words that come to mind when describing hardcore porn in general are ADDICTIVE, DANGEROUS, DEBASED, DEGRADING, PERVERSE, SICK BEYOND DESCRIPION, and VIOLENT.

“We think most Americans know the difference between right and wrong and would prefer to live and raise children in a decent society. In a March 2002 national survey (conducted for MIM by Wirthlin Worldwide), 81% of adult Americans said YES, when asked whether federal laws against Internet obscenity should be vigorously enforced. Among adult women, 90% supported vigorous enforcement.

“Prosecutions like the one announced today by the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh will significantly reduce the amount of hardcore pornography, make sellers far more careful about how they market it, and also reinforce the message that hardcore pornography is neither acceptable nor harmless.”

MORALITY IN MEDIA is a nonprofit national organization, with headquarters in New York City, working through constitutional means to curb traffic in illegal obscenity. PITTSBURGH COALITION AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY is a non-profit organization serving the tri-state area of southwestern Pennsylvania. Author: MIM   08/07/2003

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