Why Are The U.S. Feds Allowing The Distribution Of Footage They Prosecuted As Child Porn?

NOTE: NSFW=ADULT CONTENT

Child porn defendant provides the government with physical exhibits indicating some of the charged footage is sold over the counter as adult porn through a recognized commercial distributor. Government refuses to investigate and the jury convicts. Post-conviction, prosecutor refers to the distributor as “other traffickers” in child porn that haven’t been caught, while federal agencies claim ignorance of the prosecution. Years later, the prosecuted footage (including Tove Jensen) is still available over the counter, and everywhere else, through a number of distributors. Are the U.S. feds trafficking in lies? Adult porn or child porn, what’s the trewthe?

THE FOOTAGE

Before trial, the defense gives notice of its intent to introduce the following exhibits:

(2) “Blue Vanities” videotape (Tape 80, 1970’s ) Filmfare Video Labs, Inc. (3) “Blue Vanities” Catalog of Adult Videotapes, Filmfare Video Labs, Inc.

The government files a Motion In Limine acknowledging the Filmfare exhibits, stating:

The defense has provided copies of or permitted the Government to copy items (a) through (f).

During opening statements, the defense makes reference to Blue Vanities tape #80 (B.V.#80), the government objects and the following argument takes place at sidebar:

…And it’s sold over the counter. It’s a manufactured Blue Vanities tape under a normal label, and as is another tape. We haven’t been able to find the exact footage on that. But these aren’t children. They’re sold at adult book stores and you can go out there right now and buy that tape and I have it.

The fact that they sell it doesn’t prove that it’s not children. It makes no difference. They don’t have any license to sell child pornography.

Cover of BV 80/defense exhibit 200 On cross, the case agent acknowledges the receipt and viewing of B.V. #80, admitting that the loop, “Patsy Learns To Play” on B.V. #80 is the same footage and female as the loop, “Teenage Tricks,” charged by the government in 17-A as being child porn. When asked if they had seized B.V. #80 or charged anyone with possessing it, the agent replied:

No, I don’t know where it came from.

pg. 13 of BV catalog Later on cross, the case agent acknowledges: a) the receipt and viewing of B.V. #80, and the B.V. Catalog; b) that “Patsy Learns To Play” is the same footage and female as that charged in government exhibit 17-A, “Teenage Tricks”; c) that B.V. #80 is advertised on page 13 of the Blue Vanities catalog. The agent also implied that 2257 somehow protected Filmfare from prosecution, and that consumers could not rely on an adult distributor’s claim that the product contains adults.

The agent also read into the record the address of Filmfare, printed on the case cover, and yet when asked why they were not prosecuting Filmfare and their B.V. tapes, replied:

I don’t know that Blue Vanities isn’t being investigated. I think I mentioned yesterday, I haven’t heard of Blue Vanities. I don’t know where they’re located.

BV 82/defense exhibit 236 During this same cross, defense offered B.V. #82 into evidence, which contains the same “Group Sex” loop, with the same long haired blond female, as that charged in government exhibit 17-E. As noted in a prior post, the government objected on the need to investigate the tape’s authenticity, and the court sustained.

Later on redirect, the prosecutor elicited from this agent that they had no idea who put “Patsy Learns To Play” on B.V. #80, and the fact that the alleged underage female (Tove Jensen) was holding a Color Climax magazine held no investigative relevance:

Had she been holding Ladies Home Journal, would you assume that somehow they made that tape?

No, I wouldn’t.

BLUE VANITIES

“Blue Vanities” is a registered trademark, renewed in 2002 by the federal Patent and Trademark Office. Ironically, one of the specimens offered by Filmfare was the cover of Prevue tape #3, which contains excerpts from B.V. tapes #80 and #82.

B.V. tapes #80 and #82 were released in 1988 under the categories Peepshow Loops, and European Loops respectively. The bluevanities website, registered in 1997, have offered tapes #80 and #82 from the beginning, either directly or indirectly through their Prevue tapes.

Filmfare, which has been collecting, archiving, and distributing vintage adult material for over two decades, recently sold the business to KB Media Services:

For over 20 years, Blue Vanities has been a well-respected source for classic stag films and loops ranging from the silent movie era to Golden Age hardcore of the ’70s and ’80s. Former Caballero owner Howie Klein recently purchased the Seattle-based company and has moved the operation to the San Fernando Valley, where partner Wesley Emerson is now cataloging and restoring the films with new digital transfers.

(UPDATE: The “Blue Vanities” trademark has been reassigned to KB Media Services, aka Howard Klein, although it appears they have not followed up on the paperwork; and the Blue Vanities web store is now handled by a third party.)

The digital transfers on B.V. #80 and #82 (NSFW) have been completed, and are currently available on the revamped website. NOTE: Female on cover of #82 is not the blond in question.

The B.V. tapes are unique in their attempt to preserve the historical background of the footage, including producer/distributor and performers. For example, tape #80 describes “Patsy Learns To Play” as 2f-3m, SE #293, Euro.

SE is Swedish Erotica. This description is consistent with the Swedish Erotica collection of the Kinsey Institute, which has a copy of Swedish Erotica #293 housed at the University of Indiana-Bloomington.

SWEDISH EROTICA

Swedish Erotica is the classic American series of adult films produced by Caballero Control Corporation, first as 8mm loops and later on video. Litigation as to who owns the Swedish Erotica films, and in what format, has apparently been resolved.

What’s not in dispute is that Caballero Control Corporation has hundreds of Swedish Erotica titles copyrighted in the Library of Congress, and the Swedish Erotica film trademark is owned by Caballero Control Corporation. There’s also no dispute that “Patsy Learns To Play” is the same footage as “Teenage Tricks,” the Tove Jensen loop produced by Color Climax.

cover of Swedish Erotica Catalog-8th edition The 8th edition of the Swedish Erotica catalog contains covers of films #276-527.  The cover of #293, “Patsy Learns To Play”, contains images that are consistent with the  “Teenage Tricks” footage shown at trial.  (Note: The film’s description mentions three females but there are only two, the blond and Tove Jensen).

POST-CONVICTION

In a post-conviction response to a pro-se motion, the prosecutor describes Filmfare as “other traffickers in child pornography” and states:

That “Blue Vanities” may be a federally-registered mark hardly means “the U.S. Government has twice found the Blue Vanities products…to be legal…”. To even reach such a conclusion reflects an illogic that pervades the defendant’s diatribes….Not only would that AUSA find that the defendant’s videotapes contained child pornography but, more importantly, every law enforcement officer, juror and judge who reviewed the tapes in question…have unanimously found that the tapes depict minors.

In a post-conviction petition, defendant argues that he was denied equal protection of the law, as 2257’s exemption appeared to protect Filmfare from prosecution of the same footage, yet consumers have no option but to rely on Filmfare’s claim that the models are over 18. The court dismissed the argument, noting:

…contrary to [defendant’s] argument, nothing prevents the Government from prosecuting Filmfare under 18 U.S.C. 2252….if [defendant] were a producer and was in the business of producing videotapes, or possessed videotapes, in violation of 2252, the Government could prosecute him relying on much the same evidence that it relied on during his trial…

FEDERAL OFFICIALS

letter from Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section/DOJ letter from FBI letter from U.S. Senatorletter from U.S. Postal Inspection Service Meanwhile, the public has been asking federal officials about the legality of B.V. tapes, and getting responses that conflict with the information posted here:

The FBI is not in a position to make a determination of the criminality of the tapes and has no desire to provide such a decision.

I have requested that the matter be investigated and I am confident this issue will be reviewed….I have been unable to locate any statement made by [U.S. Attorney] or any of [their] attorneys acknowledging criminal conduct by this company.

If you can provide specific information regarding this company…

More questions. What was the evidence the U.S. feds relied on to convince “every law enforcement officer, juror and judge who reviewed the tapes” that this footage contains minors, and why are they afraid to use it against anyone else, or inform the public?

Under what circumstances would federal agents, prosecutors, officials and politicians jeopardize their careers and liberty by knowingly allowing footage, found by a jury to be child porn, to be distributed worldwide with impunity? What’s the trewthe?