Coalition Urges Gov’t to Enforce Obscenity Laws

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Jennifer LeClaire

A former leader of U.S. Department of Justice prosecutions against the porn industry on Wednesday dispelled claims by a front group for that industry that they do not distribute illegal material. ??

In a letter distributed to members of Congress by the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), the group states that Congress does not need to prosecute illegal adult pornography producers and distributors under existing laws because “they are not involved in obscenity.” ??

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” says Patrick Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division. ??

Under the test established by the U. S. Supreme Court, hardcore pornography may be found to be obscene and thus not protected by the First Amendment. Today, hardcore Internet pornography is the lifeblood of the porn industry and Trueman believes it should be prosecuted under U.S. obscenity laws. ??

“Many of the very groups that are part of ASACP are the one responsible for giving the children of America unfettered access to hardcore obscene pornography on their Web sites,” Trueman says. “The damage to these children is incalculable.”

??Under the tenure of Attorney General Holder, no illegal adult pornographers have been indicted and the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in DOJ’s Criminal Division has been shut down. These actions caused U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Reps. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., and Randy Forbes, R-VA. to circulate a letter for signatures in Congress urging Holder to enforce existing obscenity laws. The Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography has been working to get signatures on the letter. ??

“As a result of these efforts, Congress has been flooded with a groundswell of public outcry regarding the lack of obscenity law enforcement, with more than a quarter million people asking their elected officials to sign this letter,” says Trueman, who also serves as director of the Coalition. ??

Pornography addiction is rampant, leading to grave social costs documented at and at a conference held by the Witherspoon Institute at Princeton University entitled, “The Social Costs of Pornography.” Addiction to pornography by children and adults, violence against women, increased sex trafficking, divorce and many more societal ills can be traced to pornography consumption, according to research. ??

“We will see which side our elected officials take on this matter now that they’ve been solicited by the pornography industry for support,” says Trueman. “The War on Illegal Pornography has provided a clear way for elected officials to respond. We’re simply asking for the enforcement of existing obscenity laws which would shut down most of the hardcore pornography available today on the Internet.”

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