Porn Arrests in Pittsburgh 'Won't Be the Last,' Dept. of Justice says

by Bill Fancher

(AgapePress) Attorney General John Ashcroft's office has issued a series of indictments recently against pornography producers. It is something many conservative critics have been calling for over the past few months.

Two California pornographers were indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of selling obscene videotapes. Authorities said the case was the beginning of a crackdown on obscene material sold throughout the U.S. Andrew Oosterbaan, chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at the U.S. Justice Department, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the indictment is not the first and it won't be the last, adding that more can be expected in the next several months.

Virginia Republican Randy Forbes has been fighting for a crackdown on the porn industry since his arrival on Capitol Hill. Forbes, a Christian lawmaker, recently challenged the attorney general in a letter to take more action against pornography and those who produce it.

The congressman says he believes Christian values are worth fighting for. "When you go to work, you recognize just how fragile this whole concept of democracy really is around the world -- and if we go to sleep and we're not vigilant, anything can happen," he says.

"We think we're fighting a battle for our values and our beliefs -- and that if we continue to cling to them, they will keep us as strong as they have [over the years]," the lawmaker says. "That's what we believe we need to be doing every day."

Forbes says he will continue to push for more pornography prosecutions as long as he remains in Congress.

The announcement of a series of porn indictments was welcomed by Patrick McGrath of the advocacy group Morality in Media (moralityinmedia.org). "It's terrific news, and this is the proverbial 'first step in a journey of a thousand miles.'" he says.

McGrath says a crackdown on the porn industry has been needed for a long time. "We're glad it's starting, and we're hoping to see more in the near future."

Critics claim both the "little guy" and the "big guy" porn operations need to feel the brunt of the law since pornography is the common link among rape, pedophilia, and other sex-abuse crimes.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 10-count indictment in Pittsburgh against Robert D. Zicari and his wife Janet Romano set off "a wave of anxiety" at adult-entertainment companies in California's San Fernando Valley, which is considered the capital of the multibillion-dollar pornography industry in the United States.

Zicari and Romano are schedule for arraignment before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh on August 27. They face maximum prison sentences of 50 years.


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