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Patrick Trueman Believes there Will Be a Conviction in the Extreme Associates Case

A California couple accused of violating federal obscenity laws will finally stand trial, nearly five years after their indictment.

A federal grand jury charged Robert Zicari and his wife, Janet Romano, in 2003 with ten counts of obscenity-related crimes. The owners of Extreme Associates, a Los Angeles-based pornography industry, produced films depicting rape and murder. (See related Sept. 2003 article)

However, a judge dismissed the case leading much later to an appeals court decision to reinstate it. Pat Trueman, special counsel to the Alliance Defense Fund, believes there will be a conviction. “And that’s because the material is really, as the title says, quite extreme,” he contends. “And I think people will say, ‘This is beyond the pale. You’ll get a jury to convict.'”

In this case, Trueman says the government is acting in the public’s interest. “What I think is important to remember is that the public has never waivered from its support of obscenity laws,” he adds. “You get the ACLU and some who say, ‘Oh, there shouldn’t be prosecutions’ — yet every time there’s a prosecution, there’s a conviction.”

Trueman is hopeful the case will motivate federal prosecutors to do more. “If the Justice Department would just continue to bring these cases, you could bring down the porn industry,” the attorney points out.

The owners of Extreme Associates are scheduled for a trial next year on March 16. If convicted, Zicari and Romano could serve up to 50 years in prison and be fined $2.5 million, with their company facing a $5 million fine.

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