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Reuben Sturman (1924 - 1997)
Related: American erotica - pornography
Reuben Sturman (1924-1997) was an American pornographer and businessman from Ohio. Though unknown to most Americans, Sturman ran one of the most successful pornography operations in US history. Time Magazine estimated that Sturman was making around $300 million per year in 1991. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuben_Sturman [Nov 2006]
Porn figure Sturman dies in prison at 73Associated Press
Pornography czar Reuben Sturman, who was the focus of a high-profile 1992 obscenity case in Las Vegas, died Monday at a federal prison in Kentucky, where he was serving terms for tax fraud in Cleveland and extortion in Chicago.
Prison officials in Lexington had no further details.
Sturman, 73, pleaded guilty in 1992 in Las Vegas to racketeering and shipping obscene materials across state lines. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
"Part of (the) legend (in the pornography industry) was that he took on the government and never gave in," federal prosecutor Mary Spearing said of Sturman on the day he entered into a plea agreement with authorities in Las Vegas.
At issue in the trial were eight interstate shipments of videotapes that had been ordered by undercover officers around the country.
They were films with titles such as "You Said A Mouthful," "Golden Showers," "Animal Tapes 1-6," "Female Domination," "The Nurse Will See You Now," "Dr. Bizzaro," "Between The Cheeks" and "Brothers Should Do It."
They featured scenes of humans eating excrement, women having sex with horses, pigs, chickens and other animals, and acts of sadomasochism.
To prove the Las Vegas case, the prosecution had to convince the jury that, first, the films were obscene when applying the community standard and that, second, Sturman had knowledge of and was linked to the interstate shipments.
It was believed at the time that the federal government had a lot at stake in the Sturman trial. Three previous obscenity prosecutions against him had ended in failure.
During his first trial in Las Vegas on obscenity and racketeering charges that ended in a mistrial in October 1991, news accounts described a jovial Sturman who laughed as jurors watched films of men and women having sex with animals. He later described prosecutors' attempts to convict him as a "government vendetta." --via http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/1997/Oct-29-Wed-1997/news/6322832.html [Oct 2004]
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