Ira Isaacs

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Ira E. Isaacs (born 1951) is an American film director and self-described "shock artist."[1] He was convicted of five federal counts of selling and distributing obscene material in 2012.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Isaacs was born in The South Bronx and attended Taft High School.He graduated The State University of New York,[1] Isaacs does business as Stolen Car Films, LA Media and scatmovies.com, according to the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ).[3][4]

Federal obscenity trials[edit]

2008 trial[edit]

In 2008 Isaacs was brought to trial in Los Angeles, California on federal obscenity charges for videos featuring scatology and bestiality. At issue were three obscene films sold between May 2004 and October 2006: Gang Bang Horse "Pony Sex Game," Mako's First Time Scat, Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 7, and BAE 20 (also titled Avantgarde Extreme).[5] The prosecution alleged that the films are obscene, and have no artistic merit. Isaacs claimed the films have both artistic and political value.

The USDOJ Obscenity Prosecution Task Force initiated prosecution on this case.[6][7] The Bush administration formed the task force to investigate pornography at the urging of social conservative groups.[8] Jury selection began Monday, June 9, 2008.[9] On June 11, it was discovered that the judge presiding over the case, Alex Kozinski, had posted controversial material to his own website,[10] prompting the suspension of the case.[11] Kozinski declared a mistrial on June 13.[12]

Double jeopardy motion[edit]

The Department of Justice filed to retry Isaacs on the same charges which prompted Isaacs to file a motion on double jeopardy. Isaac's motion was heard on September 8, 2008. Isaacs lost that hearing in the lower court and appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. On December 22, 2009 the 9th Circuit decided against the artist's bid for his double jeopardy motion. On June 28, 2010 the Supreme Court of the United States denied hearing Isaacs' double jeopardy motion.

Further charges, retrial and conviction[edit]

Isaacs' second trial was initially set to be heard beginning May 17, 2011 but was delayed when prosecutors added further charges.[13] The new indictment included three more charges relating to the sale and shipment of Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 7, as well as charges regarding four new videos, Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 38, Trailers, Japanese Doggie 3 Way, and Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 10.[14] In June Isaacs' attorneys filed a motion to strike evidence suggesting Isaacs' provided controlled substances to the actresses in his films to compel them to perform.[15] The case was presented to a jury in March 2012.[2] A mistrial was declared on March 6, 2012 after jurors deadlocked on the charges. According to Isaacs, jurors voted 10-2 against him.[16] The third trial in April 2012 resulted in convictions on all five federal counts of selling and distributing obscene material.[2] Isaacs was sentenced to four years in prison in January 2013.[17] On March 25, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected Isaacs' appeal of his conviction.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dillon, Nancy (June 9, 2008). "Ira Isaacs, 'shock artist,' on trial because of special decency task force". Daily News (New York). 
  2. ^ a b c Kim, Victoria; Ahmad, Aida (April 28, 2012). Fetish filmmaker convicted of obscenity charges. Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ Department of Justice press release (July 24, 2007). California man charged with federal obscenity violations.
  4. ^ Gross, Grant (July 25, 2007). U.S. Man Faces Online Porn Charges. PC World
  5. ^ Daily News Wire Services (June 9, 2008). Jury selection to start in federal obscenity case. LA Daily News
  6. ^ Ayres, Chris (June 10, 2008). "The Isaacs pornography case strong stomachs wanted". The Times (London). 
  7. ^ KNBC story
  8. ^ Glover, Scott (June 9, 2008). "Trial to gauge what L.A. sees as obscene". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ Soodin, Vince (June 9, 208). Jurors to watch sick porn film. The Sun
  10. ^ USLaw.com (2008-08-11). "What "Stuff" was on Judge Kozinski’s Personal Website?". USLaw.com's Celebrity Justice. 
  11. ^ BBC (2008-06-12). "Trial halted over judge's website". BBC News. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  12. ^ Zetter, Kim (June 13, 2008). "Mistrial Declared in Obscenity Case Involving Controversial Judge". Wired. 
  13. ^ Kernes, Mark (Apr 19, 2011). "Are New Isaacs Indictments A Response to MIM Pressure?". avn.com (Adult Video News). Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  14. ^ Pardon, Rhett (Jun 14, 2011). "Isaacs Prosecutors Plan on Calling 8 Forensics Experts". XBIZ Newswire (XBIZ.com). Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  15. ^ Pardon, Rhett (Jun 1, 2011). "Isaacs Files Motion to Strike Evidence of 'Other Acts'". XBIZ Newswire (XBIZ.com). Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  16. ^ "Mistrial declared in L.A. fetish film producer's obscenity case". Los Angeles Times. March 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  17. ^ Associated Press (January 16, 2013). Porn producer sentenced in obscenity case. KMPH-TV
  18. ^ [1]