'He cheapens the First Amendment': Pornographer gets 4 years in jail for obscenity
LOS ANGELES, January 18, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) - A U.S. porn producer was sentenced to four years in jail and fined $10,000 at federal court in Los Angeles on January 16 for violating federal obscenity laws by producing scatalogical porn with actresses who claimed they were drugged.
Ira Isaacs, described by porn industry news service XBIZ as a "fetish producer and distributor," was found guilty in April 2012 on five counts of violating federal obscenity laws after two previous trials for producing and distributing pornography ended in mistrials.
Isaacs was convicted of one count of engaging in the business of producing and selling obscene videos and four counts of distributing obscene videos.
The Isaacs case is the last to be launched by the U.S. Department of Justice under President George W. Bush.
According to a statement on the conviction by porn watchdog Morality in Media (MIM), adult obscenity prosecutions were shut down during the Obama administration, when Attorney General Eric Holder disbanded the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in 2011.
“U.S. District Judge George King, a Clinton appointee to the federal bench, is to be praised for understanding what the Obama Justice Department fails to see – that the sexual exploitation of women by the porn industry is a serious crime,” said Patrick A. Trueman, MIM’s President.
Trueman, who served as the chief prosecutor of the Justice Department’s obscenity prosecution section during the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, said he hoped the conviction would encourage Attorney General Holder to begin enforcing federal adult obscenity laws.
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"Morality in Media is asking the U.S. Congress to hold hearings on the pandemic of harm from pornography and the need to enforce federal obscenity laws," Trueman stated.
Prior to Isaacs' sentencing, U.S. prosecutors had attempted to increase his sentence to seven years and three months with evidence that the women appearing in the films had been drugged and forced to make the porn, and that after his conviction in April Isaacs had continued to promote his pornography business.
Two of the porn actresses told the prosecutors that they would not have taken part in the production of the films if they had not been high on drugs they alleged were fed to them by Isaacs, according to a report by the pornography industry news service XBIZ.
However, Judge King said that in his view the "vulnerable victim" sentencing adjustment did not apply in the case, because women who participate in the production of obscene material as consenting adults are better characterized as co-participants in the offenses than as victims.
Judge King rejected Isaacs' contention that his porn business was based on the vision of art as protected speech under the First Amendment.
"I have totally rejected during the course of the trial that he's a shock artist," King said. "He has cloaked himself as a First Amendment defendant. But the fact is that he did it for money. He's not a defender of the First Amendment. He cheapens the First Amendment."
Dawn Hawkins, MIM’s Executive Director, said, “Pornography leads to the degradation and dehumanization of women. It is a cause of increased prostitution and sex trafficking, as well as sexual violence against women and children.”
Hawkins noted that federal law prohibits the distribution of hardcore adult pornography (“obscenity”) on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops, through the mail, and by common carriers such as UPS and FedEx. “Morality in Media will not rest until the federal laws designed to protect women and children from the porn criminals are fully enforced,” she said.
For more information on Morality in Media's work focused on opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law visit www.PornHarms.com.