Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Federal Grand Jury Charges Two Companies and Owner John Stagliano with Obscenity Violations

WASHINGTON – A producer of allegedly obscene movies and two companies owned by him have been charged by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., with operating an obscenity distribution business and related offenses, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.

In an indictment filed by the grand jury today, Malibu, Calif. resident John Stagliano and two of his companies, Evil Angel Productions, Inc. and John Stagliano, Inc., both located in Van Nuys, Calif., were charged with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to sell and distribute DVDs containing obscene films together with a movie trailer in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1465; two counts of using a common carrier for the conveyance or delivery of DVDs containing obscene films in interstate commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1462; one count of engaging in the business of selling or transferring an obscene film and a movie trailer in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1466; one count of using an interactive computer service to display an obscene movie trailer in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age, in violation of 47 U.S.C. § 223 (d); and one count seeking forfeiture of certain assets of the defendants under 18 U.S.C. § 1467. According to the indictment, the defendants, producers of the films charged in the indictment, distributed the films to the public by means of common carrier and the Internet.

If convicted, Stagliano faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each of the obscenity counts charged under Title 18, United States Code, and two years on the count charged under Title 47, United States Code. The corporations face a maximum penalty of $500,000 in fines per count.

An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it is the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Pamela Satterfield of the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force of the U.S. Department of Justice, with support from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Investigation was done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Adult Obscenity Squad based in the Washington, D.C. field office. The Los Angeles Police Department also assisted in the investigation.