Movie Buffs on trial for distributing porno videos

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    By NICK IZZO

    The trial began on Thursday for the general manager of Movie Buffs concerning the illegal intent to distribute pornographic videos.

    Larry Warren Peterman, of the American Fork and Lehi Movie Buff Video Stores, has been charged with 16 counts of class A misdemeanors for knowingly possessing pornographic material against Utah codes and for offering to distribute those materials to others.

    Owner Susan Janae Kingston and Manager Marjorie Ann Cramer of the two stores pled no contest to the charges filed against them by the county.

    “I don’t feel good about the plea, because we are innocent, but I know it was the right thing to do. We are business people, not pornographers,” Kingston said.

    Peterman, however, will stand trial for his charges.

    “Mr. Peterman is solely in charge of buying the videos for these establishments. All videos, not just those of adult content,” County Attorney Curtis Larsen told jurors on Thursday.

    It will be up to the jury to determine if the 16 videos, which make up each of Peterman’s charged counts, are in fact pornographic or obscene.

    “As the jurors, you will be shown approximately 17 hours of these materials to determine if they do appeal to purient interest,” Larsen said.

    What will be determined pornographic by the entire community will be decided by the nine jurors.

    “You will probably feel uncomfortable viewing these films, and that’s probably an understatement,” Defense Attorney Jerome Mooney said. “But your responsibility is to determine if these videos are obscene and not if they are movies that you would personally rent and take into your own homes because probably none of them are.”

    In order for the videos to be determined obscene, jurors must find them to have a purient interest of unhealthy sex, explicit hard-core sex in an offensive manner and lack literary or artistic value.

    After opening statements yesterday, prosecuting attorneys called Jeff Robinson to the stand.

    Robinson is a member of the Utah County Sheriffs Department who organized the teams to execute the search warrant for the video stores.

    “The adult video section was located at the back of the store and had two swinging western doors with a sign that said ‘Adults Only’ taped on them,” Robinson said.

    The department confiscated approximately 1,300 videos from the stores and filed them in the Utah County Sheriffs Department Evidence Lab, Robinson said.

    The trial has been estimated to last anywhere between one and two weeks by 4th District Court Judge Lynn Davis.

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