Obscenity Trial Suspended After ‘L.A. Times’ Reveals Famed Judge Has Porn on His Site

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The chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — a well-known essayist — on Wednesday suspended an obscenity trial over which he was presiding after a newspaper reported he had posted sexually explicit photos and videos on his own Web site.

Judge Alex Kozinski granted a joint prosecution and defense motion to suspend the trial after the prosecution said it needed time to look into the issue. The jury was ordered to return on Monday.

“I’m not going to say anything. The trial is ongoing,” Kozinski said in response to a reporter’s question as he left.

The suspension came after jurors spent hours at the Pasadena offices of the 9th Circuit watching videos of bestiality and extreme fetishes which are evidence in the trial of a Los Angeles businessman who sold them.

Kozinski indicated to the attorneys he would be willing to recuse himself but noted that the trial had already begun and jurors had already seen two of the graphic movies.

“My personal preference would be to walk away,” the judge said. “But here we are, much is at stake. Jurors suffered through this afternoon. We do owe up to go on.”

Earlier, as the jury was hearing opening statements in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site that Kozinski had posted sexual material on his Web site and then blocked access after being interviewed about it Tuesday evening.

Kozinski, 57, told the Times that he thought the material on his Web site, which included a video of a man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, couldn’t be seen by the public. The judge said he didn’t believe any of the images were obscene, the Times reported.

“Is it prurient? I don’t know what to tell you,” he told the newspaper. “I think it’s odd and interesting. It’s part of life.”

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