CANOGA PARK, Calif.—The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has issued the following comments on the dismissal by Judge Richard J. Leon of charges against John Stagliano, John Stagliano Inc. and Evil Angel Productions Inc.

“It is our hope that this decision will be the first step in ending the witch hunts that have been obscenity prosecutions in the U.S.,” said FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “Congratulations are in order for Stagliano’s defense team—Allan Gelbard, Paul Cambria, Louis Sirkin and Robert Corn-Revere—well done! Finally, FSC extends its deepest congratulations and appreciation to John and Karen, and to the folks at Evil Angel for their courage and commitment to the adult industry and our personal freedoms.”

FSC Board President Jeffrey Douglas said, “Obscenity prosecutions are a terrible misallocation of scarce resources and taxpayer dollars. Obscenity prosecutions are unnecessary and inappropriate when everyone has an ‘off’ switch. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the FSC also mentioned the fact that Judge Richard J. Leon, in dismissing the charges against Stagliano et al., referred to the prosecution’s evidence as “woefully inadequate.”  

While the prosecution originally indicted Stagliano on eight counts of obscenity, the FSC noted, two counts and the internet component of one other count were dismissed yesterday after an online trailer for Fetish Fanatic 5 was ruled inadmissible due to technical problems with the downloaded content.

The FSC also noted that board member Mark Kernes has been in Washington, D.C., covering the trial for trade publication AVN, alongside reporters from trade publication XBIZ, as well as several mainstream journalists, and mentioned that for breaking industry news, FSC members can access the Free Speech Coalition’s Facebook page, which is updated daily.