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If you were the juror, how would you have voted in this obscenity trial?

house of anal video cover In a New Orleans suburb -- Jefferson Parish -- three Major Video stores were accused of violating the state's obscenity law for renting three sexually explicit tapes:

"Dale's House of Anal,"
"Back Door Club," and
"Indecent Obsessions."

The trial took place in June 2001. If found guilty, Major Video would face a $2,500 fine per store and would be banned from stocking these three tapes. Adult movies made up 10 percent of Major Video's inventory and 25 percent of its monthly movie rentals. (Editor's Note: See Adult Video News's annual sales charts from 2001 for regional data on video stores' adult-movie inventory.)

What the Jurors Saw

It was a six-person jury: four men and two women. Five of the jurors said they previously had seen at least one adult film. The jurors spent five hours watching the three videos, which by all accounts, leave nothing to the imagination. For example, in "Dale's House of Anal" (roughly 120 minutes long), nearly 90 minutes of it depicts sexual acts. There are five "vignettes": one scene involving one man and one woman; three scenes involving two men and one woman; and one scene involving one man and two women. Each of the five vignettes has:

Extreme close-ups of male-female vaginal and anal penetration, some lasting several minutes in duration;

A "money shot," mostly involving a man (or men) ejaculating into the woman's mouth;

Close-ups of a woman performing oral sex on a man.


In addition, "Dale's House of Anal" shows:

Oral sex between two women;

Men performing oral sex on women;

"Double penetration": In two of the vignettes, the women have simultaneous anal and vaginal sex. In one of those instances, a woman is performing anal sex on another woman using a strap-on penis while a man penetrates the woman vaginally;

Multiple uses of "dildos," including one instance of double-penetration, where a man penetrates a woman vaginally while another penetrates anally with a dildo.

If you had been the juror, how would you have voted in this obscenity trial?

Before you vote, keep this in mind: If the U.S. obscenity law, as defined in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court, still stipulates pornography stands or falls on the "community standard" test--is there a "community standard" in an internet world? Read highlights of how the defense and the prosecution argued that one to the jurors.

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