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Judge Makes Community Standards Ruling in Ray Guhn Case; Trial Set for May 5, 2008

Florida [Pensacola News Journal]- When jurors decide whether adult videos produced in Northwest Florida are obscene, they will be told to use the community standards of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties.

Circuit Court Judge Ron Swanson decided Tuesday to use the community standards of those Panhandle counties in deciding the case against Clinton Raymond McCowen of Navarre, Andrew Kevin Craft of Pace, Kevin Patrick Stevens of Pensacola, William Lee Beach of Milton, Jane Marie Dreka of Lillian, Ala., and Thomas W. Dwyer of Pensacola.

The group is accused of producing obscene videos in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties and distributing them to paying customers on the Internet.

In a 1973 case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that in order for material to be deemed obscene it had to offend community standards. While courts have usually applied a local or sometimes state community standard, defense attorney Lawrence Walters argued for national community standards because of the universal nature of the Internet.

Each defendant faces two charges of racketeering — conducting a criminal enterprise by engaging in prostitution, and by manufacturing and selling obscene material. McCowen also faces money laundering charges.

A three-week trial is set to begin May 5, 2008.


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