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Obscenity Trial for Sami and Michael Harb Set for January, 2009

Salt Lake City- A five-day jury trial has been set for two Ohio men facing federal charges in Salt Lake City for peddling adult DVD movies to Utah customers.

During a hearing Tuesday, the trial for Sami R. Harb and his cousin, Michael Harb, was set to begin Jan. 5, 2009. Both men are owners of the Cincinnati-based online company Movies by Mail.

The two are charged with selling obscene material and mailing obscene material. Prosecutors claim federal agents in Salt Lake City placed an online order with Movies by Mail to purchase three adult DVDs. The company sent the DVD order to Utah where agents reviewed them and deemed them obscene as established by the U.S. Supreme Court. According to affidavits filed in court, the nature of the sexual acts displayed on the DVDs were extremely graphic.

The men claim they were simply making a living selling the movies and that they do not produce them. They also argue that the content does not contain any child pornography and that the content is protected under the First Amendment.

Federal officials say the movies “lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”


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