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Judge Rules 'Girls Gone Wild' Is Not Porn
Associated Press ^ | Mar. 09, 2004 | AP

Posted on 03/09/2004 11:17:45 PM PST by Redcloak

Posted on Tue, Mar. 09, 2004


Judge Rules 'Girls Gone Wild' Is Not Porn


Associated Press

A videotape of an underage girl exposing her breasts is not child pornography, a judge decided Tuesday in a criminal case against the producer of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series.

Joe Francis, 30, and several of his employees were arrested at Panama City Beach while filming during spring break last April. Bay County sheriff's deputies charged Francis with racketeering related to prostitution and other crimes, based largely on videotapes of girls under 18.

Many of the 43 counts he faces hinge on what conduct is considered illegal or pornographic.

"This ruling shows that the entire fabric of that claim is wrong," said defense lawyer Aaron Dyer of Los Angeles. Dyer said he expected the ruling to undermine at least 90 percent of the case.

Circuit Judge Michael C. Overstreet made his decision in ordering that defense lawyers be allowed to copy tape confiscated during a search of Francis' rented condominium last spring.

Prosecutors had tried to prevent the copying on grounds the videotape showing a girl "flashing" her breasts was illegal child pornography. Florida's child pornography law makes the depiction of "sexual conduct" illegal and defines that term to include physical contact. There was no physical contact in the video.

State Attorney Jim Appleman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Prosecutors contend Francis and his video crew enticed girls they knew were underage to expose themselves. The defendants deny the allegation and say the girls had lied about their ages.

Francis owns Mantra Entertainment Inc. of Santa Monica, Calif., which produces and distributes the videos.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; US: California; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: activistjudge; barebreasts; childporn; childpornography; clintonlegacy; culture; culturewar; denialaintariver; exhibitionism; flashing; ggw; girlsgonewild; itsjustsex; jailbait; judicialtyranny; lesbiansituations; naked; nude; nudity; permissivesociety; porn; pornographer; poronography; sexualizingchildren; underagegirls
Saying that it isn't porn is going to put a damper on their sales!
1 posted on 03/09/2004 11:17:46 PM PST by Redcloak
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To: Redcloak
Oh really? You think my wife wouldnt mind me watching it then?

2 posted on 03/09/2004 11:20:39 PM PST by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: WOSG
The title's wording is "interesting". At first, I thought that the judge wasn't pleased with his order. I can just picture him berating the defendant:"This isn't porn! Here, lemme show ya some porn!" ...then reaching into a drawer to pull out a video tape in a plain, brown wrapper.
3 posted on 03/09/2004 11:24:29 PM PST by Redcloak ("Aye...And if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon." -Capt. Montgomery Scott, Starfleet, ret.)
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To: WOSG
I think judges have gone way off the reservation.
4 posted on 03/09/2004 11:28:02 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: All
From dictionary.com:

6 entries found for pornography.

por·nog·ra·phy   Audio pronunciation of "pornography" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (pôr-ngr-f)
n.
  1. Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
  2. The presentation or production of this material.
  3. Lurid or sensational material: ?Recent novels about the Holocaust have kept Hitler well offstage [so as] to avoid the... pornography of the era? (Morris Dickstein).


[French pornographie, from pornographe, pornographer, from Late Greek pornographos, writing about prostitutes  : porn, prostitute; see per-5 in Indo-European Roots + graphein, to write; see -graphy.]
por·nogra·pher n.
porno·graphic (pôrn-grfk) adj.
porno·graphi·cal·ly adv.

[Download or Buy Now]
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

pornography

( P )  pornography: log in for this definition of pornography and other entries in Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law, available only to Dictionary.com Premium members.

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

pornography

\Por*nog"ra*phy\, n. [Gr. ? a harlot + -graphy.] 1. Licentious painting or literature; especially, the painting anciently employed to decorate the walls of rooms devoted to bacchanalian orgies.

2. (Med.) A treatise on prostitutes, or prostitution.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

pornography

n : illegal activities designed to stimulate sexual desire [syn: porno, porn]

Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

pornography



<application> Still or moving images, usually of women, in
varying states of nudity, posing or performing erotic acts
with men, women, animals, machines, or other props. Some say
it degrades women, some say it corrupts young boys (who
down-load it from the World-Wide Web or exchange it on
floppy disks). Most of it is in the form of JPEG images.
There are many sites on the World-Wide Web offering porn of
all sorts, almost always for a subscription. It is said that
these are a driving force in the evolution of new technology
and techniques for the web. Advertisments for them certainly
constitute a significant proportion of all spam. There are
even pornographic computer games, an early example being Mac
Playmate
.

Beware - many institutions, particularly universities, have
strict rules against their computers and networks being used
to transfer or store such things, and you might get corrupted.

(2002-03-08)

Source: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © 1993-2003 Denis Howe

pornogra
5 posted on 03/10/2004 12:15:15 AM PST by unspun (The uncontextualized life is not worth living. | I'm not "Unspun w/ AnnaZ" but I appreciate.)
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To: Redcloak
Saying GGW is child porno is really insipid. It is soft core porn at best.
6 posted on 03/10/2004 12:20:04 AM PST by cyborg (In die begin het God die hemel en die aarde geskape.)
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To: All
Anyone see "Curb Your Enthusiasm" last week?
7 posted on 03/10/2004 12:21:07 AM PST by bonfire
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To: Redcloak
Judges Gone Wild


8 posted on 03/10/2004 1:11:44 AM PST by ppaul
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To: Redcloak; lawgirl
Florida's child pornography law makes the depiction of "sexual conduct" illegal and defines that term to include physical contact. There was no physical contact in the video.

So, in Florida, someone can have pictures of kids as long as there is no 'physical contact' in the pictures? Huh? This is silly!

9 posted on 03/10/2004 1:13:27 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear missiles: The ultimate Phallic symbol.)
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To: Redcloak
So it's okay to watch/tape underage girls? Business ought to boom, eh?
10 posted on 03/10/2004 1:19:13 AM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: thegreatbeast
So it's okay to watch/tape underage girls?

The ruling certainly seems to state that it's legal. Not only is it legal to tape them flashing their breasts, it's apparently legal to knowingly seek out underage girls to get them to flash their breasts for pornography (because that's what the GGW film crew was accused of doing). This is insane.

11 posted on 03/10/2004 1:32:12 AM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: thegreatbeast
Moreso, it is legal to ask minors to show their breasts (even in the absence of a camera)?

Can minors be "exotic" dancers since that is art and not sex?

Can a minor sign a release to appear topless in a video? I thought only people over 18 could do that (without a parental cosignature)?

Are all of those Traci Lords videos legal now? What if there were shot in states where the age of consent for sex is 16?
12 posted on 03/10/2004 1:48:43 AM PST by weegee ('...Kerry is like that or so a crack sausage.')
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To: Redcloak
Prosecutors had tried to prevent the copying on grounds the videotape showing a girl "flashing" her breasts was illegal child pornography. Florida's child pornography law makes the depiction of "sexual conduct" illegal and defines that term to include physical contact. There was no physical contact in the video.

This is a bad ruling. Would "Girls Gone Wild" be considered porn if there were only adults in it? Probably not. But underaged girls changes the whole equation, and federal law is pretty clear on that.

13 posted on 03/10/2004 1:51:03 AM PST by NYCVirago
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To: NYCVirago
Perhaps they need to be prosecuted under federal law in addition to these Florida law cases they face.

Even a clothed minor can be shot in a "lacivious" manner according to some rulings.
14 posted on 03/10/2004 1:52:24 AM PST by weegee ('...Kerry is like that or so a crack sausage.')
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To: Redcloak
Bill O'Reilly is probably going to wet himself in outrage over this one...
15 posted on 03/10/2004 1:54:23 AM PST by Keith in Iowa (Democrats are the real asses of evil.)
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To: Redcloak
You think the judges might have a slightly different view of these videos if it were their daughters being taped?
16 posted on 03/10/2004 3:06:10 AM PST by phenn (http://www.terrisfight.org)
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To: Redcloak
During Spring Break in Panama City Beach (where I am...and it's S.B. now) you will see almost as much exposed 'skin' on Front Beach Road as you'd ever expect to see in that movie.

The traffic moves at a pace slower than walking and the female occupants of the vehicles expose themselves for beads.

Hey, they claim the settlers bought Manhattan with beads, so things haven't really changed that much.

17 posted on 03/10/2004 5:57:33 AM PST by capt. norm (They are training pilots in them)
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To: Redcloak
I'm from Missouri, the Show Me State..pictures???
18 posted on 03/10/2004 6:06:19 AM PST by kt56
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To: Redcloak
So, it's okay to sell videos of underage girls in various stages of undress? Oooooookay...........
19 posted on 03/10/2004 7:06:19 AM PST by atomicpossum (Fun pics in my profile)
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To: dead
"Besides," the judge added, "she's kinda cute."

This is, I think, not good.

Dan
20 posted on 03/10/2004 7:29:27 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Keith in Iowa
Bill O'Reilly is probably going to wet himself in outrage over this one...

I normally don't watch O'Reilly, but I would tune in for that!

21 posted on 03/10/2004 7:32:04 AM PST by Redcloak ("Aye...And if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon." -Capt. Montgomery Scott, Starfleet, ret.)
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To: unspun
Everyone has a different definition of porn. For me porn is anything that turns me on, which is just about anything. As long as it's straight.
22 posted on 03/10/2004 7:35:12 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: BibChr
I've never seen GGW, but I thought it wasn't porn. Just nudity.

So I guess the underage girl thing isn't "porn" but it should obviously still be illegal in the "corrupting a minor" sense (though I have a feeling these girls were pretty solidly corrupted before GGW found them.)

They're still minors and a grown man should go to jail for getting involved in this sort of behavior with them.

Sixteen will get you twenty. Or should anyway.

23 posted on 03/10/2004 7:36:51 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Redcloak
Florida's child pornography law makes the depiction of "sexual conduct" illegal and defines that term to include physical contact. There was no physical contact in the video.

Well, that settles that, unless you believe that judges ought to legislate from the bench.

24 posted on 03/10/2004 7:45:01 AM PST by steve-b
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To: Redcloak
Great! Now I can show it in class!
25 posted on 03/10/2004 7:48:57 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: Teacher317
(Do I really need to put the sarcasm tag?)
26 posted on 03/10/2004 7:49:16 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: biblewonk; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; restornu; GreatEconomy; Final Authority; xzins; marron; ...
Everyone has a different definition of porn. For me porn is anything that turns me on, which is just about anything. As long as it's straight.

Right, pretty much the same with me. Seems to me there is much ground to be gained here, as to defninitions of a. public, and b. child, and c. commercial, and, d. utterly unacceptable porn, which communities and state legislatures could use (also federal government for Internet, etc.). The same with verbal, etc. decency standards.

Difficult definitions should still be made, don't you think? They don't have to be utterly strict, they just have to be there. Know what? Those definitions are probably already out there, and being used. It's not quite the kind of thing that gets trumped up by mass media, though.

"Industry people" (whatever the industry) like to preserve the "right to police ourselves." No wonder that so many talk hosts, columnists, and paid talking heads are against regulation of the media - a no-brainer. Then of course, they like to avoid policing themselves. So, that's what checks and balances are for.

27 posted on 03/10/2004 7:51:41 AM PST by unspun (The uncontextualized life is not worth living. | I'm not "Unspun w/ AnnaZ" but I appreciate.)
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To: WOSG
LOL, your wife probably gets out of shape if you go to the mall and turn your head.
28 posted on 03/10/2004 7:52:23 AM PST by Clean_Sweep
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: ppaul
ROFL!

It's funny coincidence but I used the phrase "Courts Gone Wild" here in an only semi-related matter of judicial imperialism ...

http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com/2004_03_01_freedomstruth_archive.html#107864010244043160
30 posted on 03/10/2004 8:02:16 AM PST by WOSG (http://freedomstruth.blogspot.com - Disturb, manipulate, demonstrate for the right thing)
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To: xm177e2
The ruling certainly seems to state that it's legal. Not only is it legal to tape them flashing their breasts, it's apparently legal to knowingly seek out underage girls to get them to flash their breasts for pornography (because that's what the GGW film crew was accused of doing). This is insane.

Actually, this article doesn't go into all the details about the charges and the case. Legally, its not pornography under Florida law. The big deal was that a few girls were underage. However, they produced fake ID's and presented themselves as "of age". Now, unless a girl testifies in court she was explicitly told to lie about her age, then they have no case, legally. PERSONALLY, I think you could argue that GGW didn't take the best precautions to ensure the girls were of age, but apparently the court didn't see it that way. Personally, again, I doubt the producer cared if they were 16 or 22, but I can't prove that.

In addition, there are more charges concerning public nudity and enciting public nudity. The penalies aren't very stiff, though.

31 posted on 03/10/2004 8:15:56 AM PST by freedomluvr1778
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To: unspun
I think the cat is out of the bag whan you have legal porn and strip clubs and even prostitution for all practical purposes. We all know, myself included, mens appetites for such things. The imaginary line between 17.9 and 18 is laughable. Girls were married at 14 not too long ago right here in rivercity and now we're suppose to have a filter that kicks in at 18 years old. The hard decision to make is to de-legitimize the whole sex industry.
32 posted on 03/10/2004 8:17:30 AM PST by biblewonk (I must try to answer all bible questions.)
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To: GreatEconomy
!
33 posted on 03/10/2004 8:19:44 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: atomicpossum
So, it's okay to sell videos of underage girls in various stages of undress?

The key is "knowingly" sell. If they lie, and present fake documentation, then it makes it hard for you to be prosecuted.

A good example is Tracy Lords. She was 16 and 17 when she did all but one of her porn films. She had lied, and had fake documents. Although every "actor" was scared to death at first, nobody was ever charged with stat rape, child abuse or child porn. The videos were ordered to be destroyed. Now, possession of one today is illegal, but the participants didn't go to prison because there was no way they could have known she wasn't of age.

I think those producers had a better case than the GGW producers, but apparently the court in Florida doesn't think GGW should be liable.

34 posted on 03/10/2004 8:21:24 AM PST by freedomluvr1778
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To: freedomluvr1778
The penalies aren't very stiff, though.

Pun intended?

35 posted on 03/10/2004 8:23:36 AM PST by Cooter
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To: capt. norm
"During Spring Break in Panama City Beach (where I am...and it's S.B. now) you will see almost as much exposed 'skin' on Front Beach Road as you'd ever expect to see in that movie. The traffic moves at a pace slower than walking and the female occupants of the vehicles expose themselves for beads. Hey, they claim the settlers bought Manhattan with beads, so things haven't really changed that much."

Got pictures?

36 posted on 03/10/2004 8:29:08 AM PST by nobody_knows (<a href="http://http://www.michaelmoore.com/" target="_blank">moral coward)
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To: spetznaz
If all pictures of naked kids were illegal then everyone's mother would be in jail. The problem the law has always had with porn is defining with words something that doesn't lend itself to words. Where is the line between the ever popular naked baby on a rug and kiddy porn? We all know it instinctively but putting into words, words that can get people thrown in jail for a very long time, is difficult, nearly impossible.
37 posted on 03/10/2004 8:29:20 AM PST by discostu (but this one has 11)
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To: Teacher317
You can run it backwards for class and call it "Bad Girls Learn Their Lesson"
38 posted on 03/10/2004 8:33:48 AM PST by Slicksadick (Go out on a limb.....................It's where the fruit is.)
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To: Redcloak
A videotape of an underage girl exposing her breasts is not child pornography, a judge decided...

It's the Super Bowl half-time show.

39 posted on 03/10/2004 8:43:12 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: bonfire
Anyone see "Curb Your Enthusiasm" last week?

Of course I did, I am a survivor.

40 posted on 03/10/2004 9:07:21 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (I got some new underwear the other day. Well, new to me.)
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To: dead
My understanding (partly from reading an article on this ongoing case last year) is that GGW videos have "evolved" from the early days of just shooting girls out on the street.

As I understand it, they now convince a couple girls found on the street to go to a hotel room and play at lesbianism (kissing each other, undressing each other, fondling each other, etc.).

At least one such participant was supposedly underage and even some girls over 18 were allegedly being supplied drugs and alcohol by the crew.

A bar owner saying "she showed me an ID that said she was 21" is not a valid excuse and being shown a fake ID won't hold up in court when they try to enforce her contract.

41 posted on 03/10/2004 9:08:40 AM PST by weegee ('...Kerry is like that or so a crack sausage.')
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To: freedomluvr1778
So a minor using a fake ID to buy beer won't get a liquor store or bar cited?

There was little effort made in prosecuting those who exploited Traci Lords (even Penthouse published nude photos of her in the "Miss America" issue).

I believe that Rob Lowe did have some penalties for having sex with a minor even though he met her at a bar (meaning that she misrepresented her age).

42 posted on 03/10/2004 9:16:05 AM PST by weegee ('...Kerry is like that or so a crack sausage.')
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To: weegee
So a minor using a fake ID to buy beer won't get a liquor store or bar cited?

In most cases, they will, because the employee is supposed to know how to detect fake IDs. If charges are filed, and you end up in court, your only chance is to convince a jury there was no way you could have known it was fake.

There was little effort made in prosecuting those who exploited Traci Lords (even Penthouse published nude photos of her in the "Miss America" issue).

My understanding is it was because they had no case. She had fake birth certificates and other documents. It did lead to new laws and more stringent screening, though. I don't believe the defense of "she had fake documents" can be used today.

I believe that Rob Lowe did have some penalties for having sex with a minor even though he met her at a bar (meaning that she misrepresented her age).

I believe so too, and I disagree with that entire notion. A person in a bar has the reasonable expectation that anyone in there is at least 18 or older(or 21, depending on the rules, but at least 18).

43 posted on 03/10/2004 9:39:18 AM PST by freedomluvr1778
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To: unspun
Thank you so much for the ping! Indeed, these "difficult decisions should be made". It is the only way I know to protect the innocent.
44 posted on 03/10/2004 10:03:44 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Redcloak
Florida's child pornography law makes the depiction of "sexual conduct" illegal and defines that term to include physical contact. There was no physical contact in the video.

Not the judge's fault that Florida's law was poorly written. Under a strict reading of this law, and based on the facts of the case, the judge ruled correctly.

45 posted on 03/10/2004 2:22:01 PM PST by Modernman ("The strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must." - Thucydides)
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To: Redcloak
I think this judge will be "targeted" along with the filmmaker soon.................................

46 posted on 03/10/2004 2:24:54 PM PST by WhiteGuy (Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...)
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To: Modernman
Not the judge's fault that Florida's law was poorly written. Under a strict reading of this law, and based on the facts of the case, the judge ruled correctly.

Some "conservatives" want judicial activism, so long as they get the "right" result.

47 posted on 03/10/2004 2:32:11 PM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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