Vice Squad
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Obscenity Updates

A few days ago Vice Squad brought word of three obscenity stories in the news, two from Virginia and one from Pennsylvania. Adult Video provides updates for all three stories. (Links to Adult Video generally are Not Safe For Work.)

(1) The forthcoming trial of a woman facing the possibility of years in prison for writing obscene stories and posting them on the web, where a couple dozen subscribers paid $10 per month for access, is the subject of one longish story. Along the probable timeline of the case, we learn that there are substantial legal problems with the search warrant that was relied upon to seize evidence, and that the defendant has a very difficult history (hence the claimed cathartic value in the stories) and suffers from agoraphobia.

(2) The Sex Workers' Art Show at the College of William and Mary went ahead with two sold out performances on Monday night -- nothing like the threat of cancellation or arrests for obscenity to give a boost to ticket sales. All the hullabaloo and the presence of police officers did cause the performers to tone the show down a bit, however, so the censorious citizenry was somewhat appeased.

(3) The City of Virginia Beach has decided not to pursue obscenity charges against an Abercrombie & Fitch store that displayed some largish racy photos. (Customers complained, don't you know, and then a manager didn't cave when the police visited, so he had to be summonsed.) Alas, the story has a reference to the photos as displaying less nudity than a plumber -- "alas" because I do not think that this particular plumber stereotype should be further promulgated. (Maybe I can censor it?) The police apparently intend to return the briefly-almost-obscene photos.


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