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Friday, May 16, 2008

The Patrick O’Malley Porn Mystery

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2008 at 5:32 PM

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Was our county recorder into child porn?
As reporters and anchormen piled into the Federal Courthouse in Akron yesterday to watch Cuyahoga County Recorder Patrick O’Malley plead guilty to a federal charge of downloading obscene materials, everyone was dying to know – exactly what was obscene and how so? Unfortunately, after 45 minutes in court, no one got an answer. All Judge David Dowd said was that the “images” O’Malley downloaded onto his home computer between 1998 and 2004 were “inappropriate, lascivious, and lewd.” But lewder than what? After all, anyone with access to the Internet knows just how lewd “legal” porn can get. Everything for rape recreations to beastiality flies these days… After O’Malley left the court on a $100,000 bond, his attorney Ian Friedman denied rumors that the material was child porn – which seems to be about the only kind of porn that’s illegal. “This is not child pornography,” Friedman says. “It was just certain material that crossed the line and violated the law.” But Friedman wouldn’t elaborate, which got the media mob started on a game of 20 questions. “Was it beastiality?” a television reporter asked. Friedman didn’t say no, only remarking that he couldn’t comment on the content. Which brings us to the question – what exactly crosses the line according federal law? Aden Fine, a lawyer with the ACLU, says that question was answered in the famous People vs. Larry Flynt case, where Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who happens to be from Ohio, said “I don’t know what obscenity is, but I know it when I see it.” “It’s very difficult to pinpoint what authorities determine to be obscene or not,” Fine says. “It’s based on each local community’s standards. So, what is obscene in Mississippi might not be obscene in California.” Considering the fact that Justice Potter, being the Ohioan that he is, decided that Hustler was “obscene” simply for showing pink – the bar for O’Malley’s fetishes seems to be set pretty high in Ohio. Then again, Fine also says that “the Federal government doesn’t prosecute non-child pornography obscenity cases very often.” – Denise Grollmus
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