Summarized by Gregor McHardy
Movie Buffs prosecutor has few regrets
Deseret News 6Sep99 L5
By Edward L. Carter: Deseret News staff writer
Three years ago the Utah County prosecutor opened a case against "Movie
Buffs," charging that the store was distributing pornographic videos.
After a long investigation, trial and mistrial, and finally a retrial, the
defendant was acquitted.
Deputy county attorney Curtis Larson, a High Councilman &Bishopric member
in his ward, had to spend three weeks reviewing 450 videotapes, many of
them beneath the dignity of his calling. But even after a hung jury and an
acquittal, he feels a sense of victory." How?
The hung jury really was not ambiguous on the charges against Movie Buffs,
just against the punishment that should be meted out. All six members
found the videos they had watched in a courtroom to be pornographic, but
one juror refused to convict because he did not feel like he could tell
other people what they could or could not watch.
In the second trial Larson said that the defending attorney did "not so
much [have] an interest that justice was done as there was a feeling that
he wanted this guy off at all costs. He seemed to take the case way too
Larson's real sense of victory came from the estimated 99% of the comments
he got from Utah County residents were in support of the prosecution. And
despite the acquittal, he said the case has had a chilling effect on other
Utah County businesses that offered sexually explicit material.