85-year-old on trial for distributing illegal porn

An 85-year-old porn shop owner and his business partner are to be tried for breaking Swedish rules governing explicit film content.

A Swedish court has ruled that the octogenarian and a 49-year-old business partner are liable for distributing pornographic films with exceedingly violent content in their stores.

A third man, aged 44, has also been indicted, but his case remains in an information exchange phase and thus the court has not yet issued a ruling on his liability in the matter.

Under Sweden’s censorship regulations, it is a crime to show or distribute films which include “depictions of sexual violence or coercion, or explicit or protracted scenes of severe violence, unless this is justified in view of the particular circumstances.”

The three men operate three porn shops in the village of Charlottenberg (pop. 2,000) in Värmland county near the Norwegian border.

They have been the subject of a two-year investigation during which 235 DVDs and videos were confiscated.

Approximately one hundred of the films were returned before the indictment, but the remaining films were considered too risqué for approval by Sweden’s state film censorship agency (Statens Biografbyrå).

All the films were produced in other countries, and many had German titles.

In late June of last year, Sweden’s Chancellor of Justice (JK) had indicted a fourth man in Stockholm on charges of distributing films with illegal content.

According to Swedish law, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice has the exclusive right to prosecute those suspected of crimes involving unlawful depictions of violence, considered a criminal offence under the Swedish Freedom of Expression Act.

Following the ruling by the district court, final proceedings in such cases are resolved in jury trials.

The Stockholm indictment was included in the same investigation which led to the indictment of the three men from Charlottenberg, and was the second time a case involving illegal violent pornography has been tried in Sweden.

Seven years ago a man from Trelleborg in southern Sweden was given a suspended sentence and ordered to pay a fine equal to 150 days pay by the Malmö court of appeals for distributing 150 films with illegally violent pornographic content.