FPN Pushes for Obscenity Prosecution vs. Charlottesville Area Video Retailer


Click here for a petition urging Greene County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney to enforce Virginia’s obscenity law.


[FPN – May 18, 2007] – A national video retail company distributing hard core pornographic materials from the back room of a store just north of Charlottesville may soon face prosecution if a Virginia pro-family activist gets her way. Family Policy Network of Virginia Director Marnie Deaton says efforts to convince a local prosecutor to take legal action against the store for the alleged violations have thus far been unsuccessful, and the time has come to let citizens throughout the county voice their opinion.

Deaton met with Greene County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ron Morris in the summer of 2006, providing material evidence to demonstrate her belief that the Movie Gallery video store located at 126 Cedar Grove Road in Ruckersville, Virginia is renting and selling materials in violation of state and federal laws against illegal obscenity.

As an example of the evidence against the Ruckersville Movie Gallery, Deaton provided Morris with a DVD sold there containing at least 17 different couples and/or “trios” involved in graphic sexual activity. At the time of Deaton’s meeting with county officials, Morris indiciated a potential willingness to prosecute the alleged violations of law, once he researched the legal details involved. Deaton then worked with FPN President Joe Glover to have expert attorneys with experience in obscenity prosecution to contact Morris with additional information. Calls from those attorneys were not returned.

Since previous efforts have failed to convince Morris to take action, Deaton is now working to broaden the appeal for action. “It’s time,” Deaton said, “to let the people of Greene County express their opinion on the matter.”

As the head of the Virginia chapter of Family Policy Network, Deaton is currently recruiting local residents to obtain petition signatures from county residents — urging Morris to investigate and prosecute Movie Gallery’s alleged illegal activity.

While some pornographic materials found in various retail stores are deemed to be legal in court because of their political and/or cultural content, most of the materials being distributed from the back room of the Ruckersville Movie Gallery appear to clearly violate state and federal definitions of obscenity. The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Miller Test” (See Miller vs. California) and Virginia’s law against obscenity both ban distribution of materials designed exclusively for the purpose of arousing the “purient sexual interest” of their viewers. Most of Movie Gallery’s back room videos appear to do exactly that.

FPN’s petition asks Morris to investigate the Ruckersville Movie Gallery according to the code of Virginia, § 18.2-384 [and 385], which states:

“Whenever he has reasonable cause to believe that any person is engaged in the sale or commercial distribution of any obscene book [or motion picture film], ..the attorney for the Commonwealth of any county .. in which the sale or commercial distribution of such book [or motion picture film]occurs may institute a proceeding in the circuit court in said city or county for adjudication of the obscenity of the book [or motion picture film].”


Click here for a petition urging Greene County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney to enforce Virginia’s obscenity law.