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Rob Blacked charges dropped.


Sweet Clyde
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CHATSWORTH, Calif. - In a decision that is bound to have enormous impact on the adult video industry, obscenity charges against producer Rob Black and his wife Lizzy Borden of Extreme Associates were thrown out of court today by a federal judge in Pittsburgh.

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“I’m still speechless,” Black told AVN.com. “All ten counts against us were dismissed.” He said that U.S. District Court Judge Gary Lancaster made the dismissal on the grounds that obscenity laws are unconstitutional.

“We find that the federal obscenity statutes place a burden on the exercise of the fundamental rights of liberty, privacy and speech,” wrote Judge Lancaster in his opinion (printed in full below).

“I now have made f***ing history,” said the jubilant Black.

The Extreme Associates’ case was the first federal obscenity prosecution against a video manufacturer in over a decade.

“It makes everything perfect,” he added. “The business has been going great and all of a sudden my lawyer calls up and said I won.”

“This is the greatest news I’ve ever had,” Black said.

Black’s lawyer, Lou Sirkin, was not immediately available for comment.

Internet attorney Lawrence G. Walters, a partner in the firm of Weston, Garrou & DeWitt, called the decision “a tremendous victory for Rob Black, for the adult industry and for the First Amendment.”

He told AVN.com that the judge based his decision on the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas ruling last year, which struck down a Texas sodomy statute. Before that, the government had been able to show it had a “compelling interest” in restricting sexual activities. But Lawrence v. Texas said in effect that the government can no longer use “compelling interest” as a rationale for suppressing what adults many do in private.

The Black ruling extends this concept to adult entertainment. In effect, Walters said, “you should be able to see what you’re able to do.”

Quoting, once again, from Judge Lancaster’s opinion: “After Lawrence, the government can no longer rely on the advancement of a moral code, i.e., preventing consenting adults from entertaining lewd or lascivious thoughts, as a legitimate, let alone a compelling state interest.”

Walters cautioned that since the case ended in a dismissal, not an acquittal, the government will likely appeal. “You can’t count your chickens too soon,” he said. “But we must have faith that the appellate courts will do the right thing.”

Well-known First Amendment attorney Paul Cambria told AVN.com, “This is a case I referred to Lou Sirkin.” He compared it to his own successful fight on behalf of Al Goldstein in the 1970s. Then, he said, the government chose not to appeal, stating that by appealing it elevates the case to a higher level, which means that it will have a broader scope.

This means, he said, that if it is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, the only aspect of X-rated films that will be illegal will be child porn.

A PDF version of the Judge Lancaster’s 45-page decision in the U.S. vs. Extreme Associates follows.

Edited by Mind Games 96
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I would not be suprised if XPW now comes back sometime this year. I dont mind though, Black is good at what he does, sleezy things, and I enjoy watching.

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Nice.

I don't anticipate a XPW return. I wouldn't doubt it, but don't be expecting it.

However, the dismissal of the charges once again shows that people still remember what the First Amendment stands for. I wouldn't compare Rob Black to Larry Flynt, as Flynt is truly an American hero, but its always good to see freedom defended.

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