Obscene Trial


One of the benefits of living where I do (southwestern Ohio) is experiencing traditional American mores that have disappeared from the coasts. Such as the semi-regular prosecutions of retailers for selling porn. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on the latest case:

Jeffrey R. Busemeyer is supposed to go on trial today—and so are "community standards."

In the first obscenity trial involving a Butler County retailer in two years, a jury will be asked to decide whether Busemeyer, 46, of Wyoming, is guilty of offering obscene videos for sale at Pik Kwik Market, the West Chester Township store he manages.

A Common Pleas Court jury will be instructed to view the videos and decide whether they meet the legal definition of "obscene material." A key part of the test: whether the videos depict sexual conduct that is offensive to community standards.

In years past, Butler prosecutors have had little success persuading jurors to convict in obscenity cases—partly because "community standards" are open to interpretation. But Prosecutor Robin Piper said he is determined to overcome that hurdle.

[T]he Busemeyer case … involves adult images and is the county's first obscenity trial against a retailer since Piper took office in 2001. …If Busemeyer is convicted, he faces six to 12 months in prison on each charge and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Citizens for Community Values, a Cincinnati anti-smut group, wants to see more prosecutions of this type. The group claims Butler County has 11 other locations selling obscene videos—and "their day is coming," said Phil Burress, the group's president.

Your tax dollars at work. The best part of the story? After the prosecutor, Robin Piper, complains about how hard it is to get convictions (even, mind you, in a very conservative area) and then indicates that threats work just as well, if not better:

But Piper said there are alternatives to prosecution, too. Following investigation, one Butler [county] outlet selling objectionable videos has agreed to cease business.