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Largo mother, website operator in dispute over young models

LARGO — Terri Rieger Oberle allowed one daughter to appear in underwear and high heels on the website TrueTeenBabes.com.

Another daughter appeared topless on the website TeenBabes.com.

And now, in one of the stranger recent civil cases in Pinellas County, the whole arrangement has wound up in court.

Not because it's illegal.

Not because the mother wanted pictures of her young daughters taken off the websites.

Because of money.

Oberle, 47, of Largo says her daughters are 17 and 20 now and began appearing on the websites a year or so ago, when they were "roughly" 16 and 19. The websites list the girls' ages as 15 and 19.

She said the young women who appear on the websites are "attractive in it. They're not illegal or anything like that."

The website featuring her younger daughter shows girls ages 13 through 17 in provocative poses, such as in their underwear and with blouses and pants unbuttoned, but not nude. The other site, which includes the topless photos of her older daughter, claims to feature "America's hottest college girls" and "100-percent exclusive topless and nude photos."

But Oberle says the arrangement broke down when one of her daughters asked the website operator for more money, and "he fired my daughter." He also told her daughters they could not appear on any similar websites, she said.

Oberle declined to comment further.

James S. Grady operates the websites, and he is no stranger to controversy. He was arrested in 2002 in Colorado on more than 700 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, but the number of charges was reduced to 39 by the time the case came to court in 2003. And he was acquitted.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office investigated his websites in 2006 and 2009, but no charges were filed because they did not meet the legal criteria to be considered child pornography, said spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda.

Now Grady, 50, is suing Oberle and the two daughters. He says Oberle signed a "model release" form allowing her younger daughter to appear on his website using stage names. And he says he paid both daughters for their time. It's not clear how much he paid, but information on one of his websites says he pays $100 per hour for photo shoots.

But last year, the lawsuit says, the younger daughter allowed her photo to be used on a different website called modelmayhem.com. And someone else helped her create a competing "pay-per-view" website, the lawsuit says, and offered to auction off "the wardrobe she wears in her shoots." The older daughter also posted her picture on the competing website, the lawsuit says.

Grady's lawsuit says this violated copyrighted work that was prepared for his websites. Grady and his attorney, Luke Lirot, could not be reached for comment.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Largo mother, website operator in dispute over young models 04/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 23, 2010 11:20pm]
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