Counterculture

Court Decides: S & M Not Consensual

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An interesting case exploring the limits of how much a typical jury can be expected to understand some of the curious emotional realities of the sexual worlds of bondage and sadomasochism has come to an end, with a man, Glenn Marcus, convicted in Brooklyn of actions against one of his "sex slaves" that he insists were, however peculiar to the jury, absolutely consensual at the time and only apparently regretted by the "victim" later.

Here's the New York Post on the verdict, and some earlier coverage of the case for more context from USA Today (where another of the man's "slaves" testifies to the strange but consensual nature of their relationships) and CourtTV, which writes that

The defense had argued Marcus and the victim had a "contract" to engage in a master-slave relationship that, while potentially offensive to the general public, was consensual and even pleasurable to the participants.

Marcus had turned down a plea bargain that would have guaranteed him no jail time, since on at least one of the charges, which he was acquitted of–as the NY Post put it, "an obscenity charge he faced stemming from the graphic images depicted on his slavespace.com Web site"–he saw his fight as one for the First Amendment. Slavespace.com has been shut down by the Department of Justice–see the site make its case here.