Adult film director Max Hardcore sentenced to 4 years in prison on obscenity charges
A US District Court in Florida has sentenced "extreme shock porn" gonzo director and distributor Max Hardcore, aka Paul F. Little, to four years in prison over obscenity charges. Writing for Salon, Glenn Greenwald wrote that he believes the verdict is a blow to first amendment rights:
"So, to recap, in the Land of the Free: if you're an adult who produces a film using other consenting adults, for the entertainment of still other consenting adults, which merely depicts fictional acts of humiliation and degradation, the DOJ will prosecute you and send you to prison for years. The claim that no real pain was inflicted will be rejected; mere humiliation is enough to make you a criminal. But if government officials actually subject helpless detainees in their custody to extreme mental abuse, degradation, humiliation and even mock executions long considered "torture" in the entire civilized world, the DOJ will argue that they have acted with perfect legality and, just to be sure, Congress will hand them retroactive immunity for their conduct. That's how we prioritize criminality and arrange our value system."
The hometown Tampa, FL paper where Little was convicted wrote about the case in a condemning tone:
His pornographic persona, Max Hardcore, is all swagger and sadism - forcing women in his movies to do things that can't be described in a family newspaper. But in federal court today, as he faced a federal prison sentence, Paul F. Little trembled and begged a woman for mercy. "It just seems a very high price to pay, I think," Little told U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew, "and I ask you to understand how much I've suffered."
Judge Sentences Porn Producer To 46 Months In Prison (Tampa Bay Online). Similar accounts published in Max Hardcore's home town paper, The Pasadena (CA) Star-News, and in this Tampa Bay paper.
Why was Little, aka Hardcore, convicted in Florida, when the offending material was produced elsewhere and distributed in many places, even overseas? IANAL, but as I understand it: producers are subject to obscenity charges in any state the material can be downloaded when local standards deem the material to be obscene. The landmark Supreme Court case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is informative background reading.