Friday, December 03, 1999

Woman faces Internet porn charges

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Mount Washington woman will be arraigned today on charges of using the Internet to market her own pornographic videos.

        The pandering obscenity case is the first in Hamilton County involving adult videotapes since Hustler publisher Larry Flynt was charged last year.

        Jennifer Dute, 29, faces two counts of pandering obscenity and a possible three years in jail.

        Ms. Dute is accused of starring in two videos — Jennifer 2 and Jennifer 3 — and then marketing them on a Web site and in a local newspaper.

        Prosecutor Mike Allen said the Hamilton County Sheriff's office investigated the case and purchased copies of the videos.

        He said investigators then brought them to prosecutors, who determined they may violate community standards for obscenity. A grand jury indicted Ms. Dute last week.

        Because each community's standards vary , prosecutors rely on local juries to evaluate the material and decide whether charges should be brought.

        “We decided it was appropriate to bring it to the grand jury,” Mr. Allen said after reviewing the pending case.

        Ms. Dute's attorney, H. Louis Sirkin, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

        Mr. Allen said Ms. Dute's case is the first time anyone has tested the county's community standards on obscenity since Mr. Flynt's trial ended in a plea bargain earlier this year.

        In that case, Mr. Flynt and his brother, Jimmy, faced obscenity and other charges for selling adult videos from their store in downtown Cincinnati.

        The trial ended after three days when the Hustler store corporation pleaded guilty to two counts of pandering obscenity. As part of the deal, the Flynts agreed to stop selling adult videos in Hamilton County.

        The Flynts have since announced plans to build a Hustler “superstore” that will sell videos in Butler County.

        Unlike the Flynts, Ms. Dute is not accused of selling videos from a store. In her case, Mr. Allen said, she advertised them on her Web site and in the now-defunct weekly newspaper Everybody's News.


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