Flynts request dismissal of obscenity case

Monday, September 21, 1998

Larry Flynt...
Larry Flynt

CINCINNATI — A hearing on a motion to dismiss the obscenity case against Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his brother, Jimmy, has been postponed until Nov. 10.

The hearing on the motion filed last Tuesday by the Flynts’ lawyer, Louis Sirkin, was to have been held Friday but was postponed to allow prosecutors time to respond to that motion and several others filed by the defense.

Sirkin says the case should be dismissed because Ohio’s obscenity law is too restrictive and violates a standard set years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ohio law defines obscene material in a more general way, he said.

“We believe the law is unconstitutional, vague and overbroad,” Sirkin said. “The state’s definition of obscene material violates the First Amendment right to free speech.

“It makes it difficult for publishers and owners of bookstores and video stores, because they have to guess at what qualifies as obscene,” he said.

Both Flynts face trial in January on 15 charges that said they sold sexually explicit videos at their downtown Cincinnati store. The indictment alleges that a 14-year-old boy was among those who bought the videos at the store.

Larry Flynt, 55, and Jimmy Flynt, 49, have pleaded innocent to all the counts, which include pandering obscenity, conspiracy, disseminating material harmful to juveniles and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

If convicted, they could go to prison for at least 24 years and face possible fines of $65,000.

A message seeking comment from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters was left at his office Friday.