PITTSBURGH, PA — A federal grand jury has handed down a six-count obscenity indictment against Karen Fletcher, 54, of Donora, Pennsylvania, based only on fictional, fantasy, text materials, which Fletcher wrote and offered for sale on her Red Rose Stories website.
These are not themes likely to create sympathy in jurors. This indictment, along with the recent obscenity charges against fetish film producer Danilo Simoes Croce, of Sao Paulo, Brazil (see X-Press report, “Brazilian Fetish Producer Busted,” 9/15/06) is in line with the apparent Justice Department.
The strategy of prosecuting extreme forms of sexually explicit materials; except in this case, by choosing to go after text-only materials, the government has ventured down an even more slippery slope than in its vendetta against photo and film materials.
Erotic photo imagery, while a form of expression subject to First Amendment protections, does involve behaviors and actions of models and actors, whereas written fiction, however extreme, however repulsive, is pure fantasy, pure thought.
This effort by law enforcement to penalize the sharing and distribution of fantasy comes very close to thought control. The grand jury indictment, rather than the fact that some people share child torture fantasies, maybe the scariest part of this story the top is appropriate for adults to write or read,” Bertin said.
“FATAL FLAW” DOOMS CITY IN ZONING CASE
SAN DIEGO, CA — U.S. District Court Chief Judge Irma Gonzalez has handed a victory to George Isbell, owner of the adult bookstore G&B Emporium, and his attorney Roger Jon Diamond, in a zoning law dispute with the city that goes back to 1997.
After a long series of rulings, appeals, and reversals, G&B Emporium is now free to operate at its current location, approximately 900 feet from a residential property line, despite a municipal code that requires 1000 feet of separation from residential property lines.
Gonzalez’s opinion was the logical conclusion of a higher court ruling in the case. Published as Isbell v. San Diego, (2001) the Ninth Circuit reversed a state appellate court ruling that had backed the city.
The Ninth Circuit said the city had not met its obligation to demonstrate that a reasonable list of potentially available properties was available for adult stores that fell within the zoning scheme.
In particular, noted the Ninth Circuit opinion, the city’s list of 110 sites had a “fatal flaw.” The San Diego zoning ordinance is based on a “dispersal” model, in which not only must adult stores be located 1000 feet from a residential property line, church, school, public park, or social welfare institution; the stores must also be at least 1000 feet from any other adult establishment.
The “fatal flaw” was that in coming up with the list of 110 available sites, the city neglected to include the locations of other existing adult businesses, which, when factored in, left an unknown but obviously many fewer number of available sites.
The Ninth Circuit remanded the case to the lower courts, giving San Diego another chance to develop a proper list of sites.
Despite the ample warning provided by the Ninth Circuit opinion and by a denial of summary judgment by Judge Gonzalez in 2003, the City of San Diego in the recent proceedings failed again to provide an accurate list of sites available or to demonstrate that the available sites satisfy the demand for adult entertainment in the city — another factor in the case. See this: are crickets good luck
In addition to the fight with the city, Isbell and Diamond had to struggle through a protracted “unfair competition” lawsuit with a competitor, in Mercury Books v. Adult Emporium. According to Isbell, the unfair competition claims were based on Isbell’s violation of the 1000-foot rule in the Municipal Code.