Max Hardcore Sentencing Postponed

TAMPA - The sentencing of Paul Little a.k.a. Max Hardcore, originally scheduled for tomorrow before U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew, has been postponed until October 3.

"It got continued because the initial PSI [presentence investigation] wasn't finished early enough to adequately give us time to file objections," said prominent First Amendment advocate H. Louis Sirkin, who was one of the attorneys representing Max World Entertainment in the obscenity trial that began on May 27. "The way it works is, the probation department writes an initial presentence report; they send it out, and we have the right to file written objections to it. Then we try to resolve them. Then a final report goes to the court."

Hardcore faces up to 5 years in prison for each of the 10 counts of interstate transportation of obscene matter upon which he was convicted, and up to $5 million in fines.

"There's some dispute over the amount of financial gain, which would up some of the guideline levels, which will be a contested issue," Sirkin told AVN. "There are a few other items which there will be some objections to. I think that we'll get some leeway in dealing with the financial, because all of the material that's been determined to be obscene, there was only a couple of films and video clips that were determined to be obscene in Tampa; doesn't mean they're unlawful anywhere else."

One consideration in sentencing a criminal defendant in federal court is the amount of revenue that person derived from his/her crime, and the higher the revenue (up to a certain level), the greater the sentence can be. The defense team will be arguing that the court should only consider the revenues derived from the five movies and five online trailers that were the subject of Hardcore's convictions, rather than the total revenues of the entire Max World business.

Concurrent with the defense's preparation of objections to the presentence report, Sirkin and partner Jennifer Kinsley, as well as defense counsel Jeffrey Douglas, Jamie Benjamin and Daniel Aaronson, are working on the defendants' appeal from the charges, that will be filed shortly after sentencing.

"In any criminal conviction, the case isn't a final appealable matter until there's sentencing," Sirkin explained. "We did the motion for new trial or judgment of acquittal, and that raised many of the issues and reconfirmed many of the issues that will go up on appeal - assuming the adult industry's still in existence after November," he added, referring to the upcoming presidential election.

"And remember, on the sentencing, the government has the right also to appeal," Sirkin warned.