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Deep Throat Was Acquitted by Well Hung Jury

Porn Valley- The documentary Inside Deep Throat includes a number of interesting behind the scenes pieces about the film including several landmark court cases involving the picture itself.

One of them takes a look at the Deep Throat, www.arrowfreedom.com trial held in the Beverly Hills Municipal court back in the Seventies when the Pussycat Theater was raided, and the film was tried for violation of community standards.

The main principals involved at the time are interviewed which include Judge Leonard Wolf, defense attorney Robert McDaniel and prosecuting attorney Robert Lodmer. You get the impression that everyone’s joking and having a gay old time talking about the case in retrospect; but no one seems to make a point of the fact that taxpayers’ dollars were being hugely wasted on what turned into a carnival.

The case ended in a mistrial or what Lodmer’s wife Emily laughingly refers to as ” a well hung jury.”

Judge Wolf notes that the picture was being shown at The Pussycat Theater on Santa Monica Blvd.

“The theater, I think is still there,” he says. “The Sunset Strip which is adjacent to it, was notorious in the Sixties for being a target of the Sheriff’s Dept. crackdown on vice and narcotics.”

“I literally first heard of Deep Throat the day I was assigned to the case,” Lodmer recalls. “I walked into the office and I was told you’re going to see a movie tonight. My wife wanted to come see the movie and I told her you can’t come that it wouldn’t look right. Then the judge showed up with his bailiff and his wife and she sat next to me.”

Cracking a joke, Emily Lodmer was convinced of the fact that Judge Wolf had a better time when he got home than Lodmer did.

“I was really angry that I was forbidden to go the theater and his wife was there,” says Emily Lodmer.

Lodmer describes Beverly Hills/West Hollywood as being the most liberal area in all of Los Angeles.

“And it still is,” he adds. Judge Wolf then goes on to say that there were areas that practically defied prosecution, noting that there was a Temple of Oral Sex and the minister had himself anointed into a so-called religious order.

“He opened this religious order and claimed we couldn’t touch what they were doing because there was religious freedom involved,” says Wolf.

Sheldon Lodmer adds to his comments about California being a very liberal state.

“Things are more hang-loose in California now than they were 30 years ago,” Lodmer states. If so, tell that to Max Hardcore, Seymore Butts and JM Productions who came under the oppressive gavel in Los Angeles several years ago.

Wolf points out that in order for a film to be considered obscene, one of the tests is that a particular photoplay had to be utterly without redeeming social value.

“Someone had written a screenplay and whether you liked the film or not you can’t say it was utterly without some kind of amusement value- it was a tough case,” said Wolf.

Defense attorney McDaniel remembers Lodmer as being a nice guy.

“But he was way in over his head and he knew it,” says McDaniel

Wolf goes on to mention how Lodmer wanted to display the film in the court room and the defense argued that the jurors should see the film in the environment it was being shown to the public.

“Which was at The Pussycat Theater,” said Wolf. “I agreed with the defense. We put the jurors on the bus and brought them down to the theater.”

McDaniel said it turned into a big outing with everyone having fun. McDaniel was convinced that with this fun venue there was no way you were going to lose the case.

“During the showing to the jury I heard someone start laughing,” Lodmer comments. “When I heard that, I just thought to myself we’re in trouble.”

Wolf conceded that if the movie drew snickers it must have some redeeming social value.

“It’s hard to legislate morality,” said Wolf and Lodmer says the case ended in a hung jury.

“A well hung jury,” Emily Lodmer adds with a snicker.

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