In the longest running obscenity case in American history, Extreme Associate owners Rob Black and Lizzy Borden have each entered guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to distribute obscene material. Trial had been scheduled to begin with jury selection
The plea capped a legal battle, begun in 2003 with a 10-count indictment, that had promised to deal with cutting edge free speech issues.
In fact, just three videos were indicted - Forced Entry and Cocktails 2 , both directed by Borden, and Extreme Teen 24 , credited to Stanley Ferrara but reportedly the work of several directors - as well as six video clips.
But as noted in AVN's recent editorial , defense of obscenity requires huge amounts of cash, and with Extreme Associates long closed, and Black and Borden reportedly employed only sporadically - and with an almost universal lack of support from the
adult industry - it was too much to expect that attorneys H. Louis Sirkin and Jennifer Kinsley would be willing to handle the projected two-week trial (and its subsequent appeals) on a pro bono basis.
Estimates of the possible sentences that could be imposed under the plea have ranged from as little as 10 months in prison for each individual defendant to as much as five years, and a possible fine of $250,000 for each individual and the
corporation. The couple will be sentenced on July 1.
Rob Zicari better known as Rob Black and his wife Janet Romano (stage name Lizzie Borden) were each sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison after pleading guilty to once count of conspiracy to distribute obscene materials last March.
As part of the guilty plea, Zicari and Romano admitted that through the parent company of XPW, Extreme Associates, Inc., they mailed three obscene movies to Pennsylvania, where this whole thing started.
The movies that essentially brought down the company were Forced Entry - Director's Cut, Cocktails 2 - Directors Cut , and Extreme Teen #24 .
They also got in hot water for distributing the material through Internet streams.
As part of of their plea agreement the couple was also sentenced to a two year probationary term upon their release from prison.