Sunday, May 13, 2001

Hamilton County's battles over porn

        The Elyse's Passion case is the latest in a long line of tests for Hamilton County's community standards. A few examples:

        1970s: Cincinnati's vice squad and then-Hamilton County Prosecutor Simon L. Leis successfully drove out most of the county's go-go clubs and adult theaters.

        1976: Larry Flynt was charged with pandering obscenity and engaging in organized crime for publishing Hustler magazine. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

        1990: Now-Sheriff Simon Leis pushed for charges against the Robert Mapplethorpe photo exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center downtown. A grand jury indicted the art center's director on two misdemeanor charges, but he was later acquitted of all charges.

        1994: Owners of the Pink Pyramid in Cincinnati were charged with pandering obscenity for selling the videotape Salo, which contained scenes of explicit sex and violence. The store later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was allowed to continue selling the tape.

        1999: Larry Flynt's Hustler store pleaded guilty to pandering obscenity for selling pornographic videotapes. Prosecutors dropped other charges, and Mr. Flynt agreed to stop selling explicit tapes in Hamilton County.


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- Hamilton County's battles over porn
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