Judge Sentences Porn Producer Paul Little, aka Max Hardcore, To 46 Months In Prison

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From the Tampa Tribune:

His pornographic persona, Max Hardcore, is all swagger and sadism – forcing women in his movies to do things that can’t be described in a family newspaper.

But in federal court today, as he faced a federal prison sentence, Paul F. Little trembled and begged a woman for mercy.

“It just seems a very high price to pay, I think,” Little told U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew, “and I ask you to understand how much I’ve suffered.”

Little and his attorneys argued that his conviction in June for 10 counts of distributing obscene materials over the Internet and through the mail had devastated his business and left him near ruin. That, they said, should be punishment enough.

But Bucklew sentenced Little to three years and 10 months in federal prison.

She was unimpressed with Little’s apologies, noting he had given interviews in which he ridiculed the charges against him. “He was flip throughout the entire trial,” she said. “He wasn’t apologetic, as far as I can tell, until this morning.”

Little also claimed the videos in question, which were labeled as “Euro” editions, were intended for distribution in the more permissive European market, not the United States. He said he told his distributor not to sell them in the United States.

That, the judge said, is “questionable.” She said she believed prosecutors when they said that label was a marketing technique to let buyers know the content was more extreme. “You’re either incredibly naïve or you’re just not being truthful,” she told Little.

Bucklew also ordered Little, 50, to pay a $7,500 fine on his own behalf and another $7,500 on behalf of his company, Max World Entertainment. She leveled $5,000 in special assessments and ordered Little to serve three years of probation after he is released from prison. The company was placed on probation for five years.

The judge granted a defense request that Little be allowed to remain free and surrender when a prison is designated by the bureau of prisons.

According to evidence in the trial, federal investigators in January 2006 purchased an online membership to the Max Hardcore Web site and downloaded five promotional video clips. Then, in March 2007, an undercover postal inspector bought five DVDs from the Web site, having them delivered to a post office box in Tampa.

The videos featured scenes of vomiting and urination, showing women being forced to ingest various bodily fluids.

Federal prosecutor Edward McAndrew, a lawyer with the Justice Department, said the videos were “some of the most extreme material available on the Internet.”

“This case is not about the conduct,” McAndrew said. “It’s not about consenting adults. It’s about commercial distribution. … He made a choice that his material would be more extreme than others. What he creates gives mainstream pornography a bad name.”

McAndrew said Little was undeterred by his conviction and had sold two of the videos in question after his was convicted.

In seeking a more lenient sentence, one of Little’s attorneys argued that the videos were not sadomasochistic. “Urine and vomit, our argument is, isn’t sadistic or masochistic,” James Benjamin said.

“What about humiliation?” the judge asked.

That, Benjamin replied, isn’t in the legal definition of sadomasochistic.

“Clearly, there seemed to be pain,” Bucklew said.

That was acting, Benjamin said. “The person that was involved in the conduct sat [in court] with a smile on her face and wrote your honor a letter saying, ‘Judge, this was a beautiful part of my life.’ ”

“I don’t even think this is a close call,” the judge said. The videos portrayed “sadistic conduct. …This is clearly degrading, clearly humiliating and intended to be so.”

Defense attorney Jeffrey Douglas said the conviction has reverberated throughout the adult entertainment industry and marks the first time prosecutors successfully have gone after a pornography producer while granting immunity to the distributor.

Until the videos were ruled by a jury to be obscene, Douglas said, Little had “no way of knowing the activity he was engaged in was criminal.”

It was unprecedented, Benjamin said, “to consider a purveyor of dirty movies in the arena of criminal conduct.”

“This came out of nowhere,” Little said.

[NB: Previous post about Hardcore here, where the comments may be of particular interest]

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0 Responses to Judge Sentences Porn Producer Paul Little, aka Max Hardcore, To 46 Months In Prison

  1. Eric says:

    “I ask you to understand how much I’ve suffered.”

    I can’t decide whether that statement exemplifies irony or chutzpah.

    If I were a Freudian, I might wonder if Mr. Little’s chosen occupation was an attempt to compensate for his surname. Since I’m not a Freudian, I know he’s just a horrible sexist pig.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    I still have really mixed feelings about this. I believe the women who say Hardcore mistreated them during filming and production of the pornography he produced. So in a karmic sense he definitely deserved to be punished. But I am very uneasy about the use of obscenity laws generally.

  3. Eric says:

    Well, yeah, I’m not a fan of obscenity laws either. The fact that this guy could be prosecuted only on that ground, rather than for his abuse of women, is disturbing on several levels.

  4. movingout says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I’ve been watching porn ever since Little first started and I’ve seen much of his work. He has set a standard of abuse toward women in films that has and continues to be copied. It’s not so much that he hates women (which he obviously does), but he hurts women. Watching enough of his movies makes you never want to have sex again and loose faith in all mankind. If his defense lawyers could watch everything he’s made and call that acting then someone should perform the same acts on them and see how well they act with it. But that’s the thing about attorneys. I once asked the attorney who defended Mark Chapman how he could defend the man who murdered John Lennon. He told me the guy needed a lawyer. Some defendents really don’t. Paul F. Little is probably on that list.