On Tuesday, State Judge Greg Guidry, a former federal prosecutor with a choirboy reputation, will preside over District Attorney Paul Connick's criminal obscenity case against Major Video. It is Guidry's first high-profile case since winning a hard-fought race for the Division E seat on the 24th Judicial District Court of Jefferson Parish.
As part of the proceedings, a Jefferson Parish jury is expected to view four hours of pornography movies made available by the rental store to adults (at least 21 years old). Acting on a complaint, vice squad officers from the sheriff's office in 1999 visited three stores operated by Major Video and rented such movies as House of Anal, Indecent Obsession and Back Door Club. Connick's office says such the movies violate Louisiana obscenity law, which is based on 1973 U.S. Supreme Court opinion stating that "contemporary community standards" determine what is obscene. "We are all about to find out what the community standards are for the metropolitan New Orleans area," says Jefferson Parish prosecutor Chuck Credo.
"I believe community standards are different than what they were in 1968," says Franz Zibilich, defense attorney for Major Video, adding that pornography is widely available today on the Internet and pay television.