WASHINGTON - Evil Angel owner John Stagliano has been charged by a federal grand jury with multiple obscenity violations stemming from the sale and distribution of adult videos through the mail and the Internet.
The indictment handed down April 8 in Washington, D.C. names Stagliano and his companies Evil Angel Productions and John Stagliano Inc. as defendants. The videos cited as "obscene" are Jay Sin's Milk Nymphos, Joey Silvera's Storm Squirters 2 and an online trailer for Belladonna's Fetish Fanatic 5.
Stagliano and his companies are charged with "three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to sell and distribute DVDs containing obscene films together with a movie trailer in violation of 18 U.S.C. SS 1465; two counts of using a common carrier for the conveyance or delivery of DVDs containing obscene films in interstate commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C. SS 1462; one count of engaging in the business of selling or transferring an obscene film and a movie trailer in violation of 18 U.S.C. SS 1466; one count of using an interactive computer service to display an obscene movie trailer in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age, in violation of 47 U.S.C. SS 223 (d); and one count seeking forfeiture of certain assets of the defendants under 18 U.S.C. SS 1467."
When asked for comment, Stagliano's response was calm.
"I don't sell obscenity according to how the law is defined, and I am sure in the end there will be a positive resolution to this," Stagliano told AVN.
"We believe in what we do, so John is absolutely going to stand up for this," added Evil Angel's Tricia Devereaux. "This morning he told me that when his name is the copyright holder on every one of those movies it's because he believes in those movies, and he believes in those directors."
Attorney Al Gelbard is representing Stagliano and his companies in the case. Gelbard successfully defended JM Productions head Jeff Steward on similar charges last year.
Pamela Satterfield of the DOJ's Obscenity Prosecution Task Force is prosecuting the case, with support from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
"We haven't been served yet," Gelbard told AVN. "I have not seen the indictment. I spoke with Miss Satterfield this morning at the DOJ. We are making arrangements to exchange the documents and do the surrenders and do the normal beginning stuff that happens in cases like this. And I'm looking at associating necessary co-counsel. I'm not at liberty to discuss who that's going to be yet, but there's a usual list of players. We're very confident. She told me the movies that were charged, though I haven't had a chance to look at them yet, and there's an interesting charge relating to one of the trailers, which raises some interesting constitutional issues, at least in terms of 'taken as a whole.'"
When asked about the specific titles named in the indictment, Tricia Devereaux told AVN the company is "completely confident with the content of these movies."
"These movies in particular - everything we make, but especially these movies - it's showing girls having fun doing things that maybe you don't always do in your normal bedroom, but that's kind of the point of porn," she said. "Squirting, and I'm not sure about milk enemas, but squirting has been defended before. They obviously didn't try to pick the hardest thing that they possibly could have picked against the hardest company they were trying to pick."
If convicted, Stagliano faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each of the obscenity counts charged under Title 18 U.S.C. and two years on the count charged under Title 47 U.S.C. The two corporations face a maximum penalty of $500,000 in fines per count.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Adult Obscenity Squad based in the Washington, D.C. field office, with assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department.