Thursday, January 29, 2004

Dute to be retried on charges of pandering

By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Judge Norbert Nadel of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court ordered Jennifer Dute back to his courtroom Wednesday.

He said she will be retried on pandering obscenity charges, denying a motion from her attorney, H. Louis Sirkin, to dismiss the case.

A trial date will be set next month.

Last May, the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals threw out the Anderson Township woman's conviction for selling videotapes of her sexual encounters. She has served seven months of a year-long sentence on the charge.

The appeals court found that Dute did not get a fair trial and received too harsh a sentence.

Dute, 33, was convicted of pandering obscenity for selling a series of videos showing her having sex with multiple partners. Her 63-year-old husband, Allan, was accused of filming the videos but was found not guilty of pandering charges.

During her trial, Dute's attorneys argued that she was singled out by law enforcement because she sold her videos on a Web site that ridiculed Hamilton County Sheriff Simon L. Leis, a staunch opponent of pornography.

The appeals court determined that Dute did not get a fair trial because Judge Patrick Dinkelacker refused to allow defense attorneys to show jurors a similar explicit video available in Hamilton County.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen is glad Nadel decided to bring the case back to trial.

"It's an important matter," Allen said, "one that should have a final adjudication."

Sirkin expects a new jury to acquit his client. Seeing similar videos in which jurors acquitted the suspect on pandering charges is important to the case, he said.


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