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Juror asks to view less porn in court

Paul Little, who goes by the screen name Max Hardcore, directs and stars in his movies.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Paul Little, who goes by the screen name Max Hardcore, directs and stars in his movies.

TAMPA — A juror serving in the obscenity trial of a Hollywood producer asked Thursday if shorter portions of pornographic movies could be shown in court.

"Your honor, would it be at all possible for clips to be shown to the jury instead of the movie in its entirety?" the male juror wrote during a morning break.

Just before receiving the note, U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew decided to let the prosecution and defense play as much or as little of five pornographic films at trial as they deemed necessary. Jurors weren't in the courtroom when the judge ruled.

Still, the entire day Thursday was spent watching porn.

Bucklew requested earlier this week that prosecutors play all 8 1/2 hours of the films as they presented evidence against producer, director and porn star Paul F. Little of Altadena, Calif., and his company, MaxWorld Entertainment Inc.

But after 40 minutes of viewing Wednesday, the judge said she doubted the jury could sit through such a volume of graphic and violent depictions.

In his films, Little goes by the name Max Hardcore. He creates scenes that show him inflicting pain and humiliation on female actors. His movies include urinating, vomiting and defecation, often on adult women made up to look like young girls.

Little and MaxWorld are charged with five counts of using a computer server to sell obscene matter and five counts of delivering obscene matter through the U.S. mail. Little's Max Hardcore Web site was housed on servers in Tampa for about three years.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Douglas wanted to question the juror who sent the note to see if it represented only his views. Bucklew said there was no indication that he spoke for other jurors.

Douglas said that if the juror had discussed the case with the others, then he tainted the jury. He also wanted to know if the juror had already reached an opinion in the case.

The judge denied Douglas' request. When he then moved for a mistrial, the judge denied that motion, as well.

Earlier in the day Thursday, there had been more discussion about how much pornography prosecutors would show at trial.

The prosecution originally planned to show only 2 1/2 hours of Little's films. But the defense insisted that the law required jurors to view them in their entirety to accurately and fairly decide if the films are obscene.

Douglas said that showing only portions of the films was a ploy by the prosecution to make the movies appear more jarring than they actually are. He said that if jurors watched the movies as they were intended to be seen, it would desensitize them and take some of the force out of the government's case. The defense has said it plans to show whatever prosecutors don't.

Kevin Graham can be reached at kgraham@sptimes.com or

(813) 226-3433.

Juror asks to view less porn in court 05/29/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2008 1:25pm]
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