Ohio stinks,ask me why.
profrv at nex.net.au
Sun Apr 25 12:28:18 PDT 1999
Cincinnati Marriott Caves in to Pressure; Eliminates Adult Pay-Per-View
From the Cincinnati Enquirer: The Citizens for Community Values in
Cincinnati have waged a war against the Marriott hotel chain and won.
Warned by local prosecutors that obscenity charges could be brought against
them, operators of the Cincinnati Marriott Northeast have decided to stop
offering pay-for-view adult movies to guests. CCV, an anti-pornography
group assisted in getting the movies removed from the hotel by videotaping
the in-room movies and forwarding tapes to the prosecutor. Other Greater
Cincinnati hotels are being targeted in similar fashion.
Phil Burress, president of theCCV, said we're ecstatic and that the CCV
hopes for similar cooperation from other area prosecutors and hotel owners.
Scott Greenwood, general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) of Ohio, blasted CCV's hotel campaign as fundamentalist, right-wing
wackos ... trying to apply the lowest, most restrictive standards to
something that is broadcast around the world. It's appalling. It's clearly
a pressure tactic and it's anti-First Amendment and anti-personal
autonomy, Greenwood, a Cincinnati-based attorney went on to say.
In June Marriott officials at the Mason hotel were contacted by Warren
County Prosecutor Tim Oliver and told that the hotel's satellite TV adult
programming, which he described as quite explicit, violated Ohio
obscenity law and that they face possible charges should they continue to
offer the service to guests. The hotel's decision to at least temporarily
withdraw the adult service also pleased Oliver, who said, That's what we
wanted them to do.
In a July 24 letter to Oliver's office, Mason Marriott lawyer William
O'Brien wrote that while the 302-room hotel is committed to traditional
family values, it is also a business that caters to all members of the
public, many of whom have widely varying tastes and opinions. O'Brien
stated that though the hotel has removed the adult movie option for guests,
it has reserved the right to change its position. He added, however, that
any resumption of the adult entertainment would be accompanied by a
notification to the prosecutor's office.
An estimated 40 percent of the nation's hotels offer adult movie options,
accounting for about 90 percent of pay-per-view revenue, according to
Burress. Burress said his group is stepping up its efforts to wipe out what
he described as the hotel industry's white-collar pornography because
they have started to bring in the hard stuff, he said, referring to
explicitly graphic adult movies. He said he is concerned that guests
automatically have the option of accessing such adult fare rather than
having to request the programming from the hotel and that children in the
rooms are only two or three clicks on a remote control from getting into
it although hotels usually offer guests the ability to have the adult
Ohio anti-First Amendment porn law put on hold
[AP] A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Ohio's new
anti-pornography law, saying it's too broad and appears to violate the
constitutional right of free speech.
U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice on Friday issued a temporary
restraining order at the request of attorneys for bookstores, newspapers
and video software dealers. The law adds computer images to the list of
possible ways to display sexually explicit material and other content
deemed "harmful to juveniles." Lawmakers passed the bill in February, and
Gov. Bob Taft signed it in May.
In his decision, Rice said the law's definition of what is harmful to
juveniles is too broad and outlaws conduct and expression protected by the
As written, the law could affect publishers, booksellers and others who
disseminate material to juveniles, Rice said. The temporary restraining
order keeps the law from going into effect today. Rice said he will grant a
preliminary injunction later, which is indefinite and could result in a trial.
Prosecutors origianlly welcomed the new law, saying it would allow
authorities to put sexual predators behind bars longer.
"We could use this statute as something else in our arsenal," Craig King,
assistant Greene County prosecutor, said earlier. "It would give us another
charge to throw in."
When predators send pornography or nude photos of themselves over the
Internet, they can only be charged with attempted dissemination of matter
harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor, since the detectives aren't really
minors, King said.
Under the new law, the predators could be charged with a felony and face up
to a year more jail time, he said.
But bookstores, publishers and video software dealers who sued the state
argued that the law would violate their First Amendment rights and would
restrict Internet communications.
In a hearing before Rice on July 31, Elise Porter, an assistant Ohio
attorney general, said the law attempts to modernize the way Ohio fights
pornography and gives authorities more tools to go after sexual predators
who use the Internet to prey on juveniles.
Michael Bamberger, the attorney for opponents of the law, said the statute
is too broad, and its definition of what is harmful to juveniles is
difficult to understand. He said the law would have a chilling effect on
the dissemination of constitutionally protected speech and expression.
Courts in six other states struck down attempts at similar restrictions, he
said. State Rep. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus, sponsored the law after a case he
handled while an assistant Franklin County prosecutor.
In the case, Mark Maxwell, of Oxford, was sentenced to 18 years in prison
in 1999 on charges that he enticed minors into sex through Internet chat
rooms and e-mail. Some of the charges were dismissed because jurors said
the law on disseminating pornography did not include electronic images,
Hughes has said.
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