FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA., OCT. 3 -- A local record store owner was convicted of a misdemeanor today for selling "As Nasty as They Wanna Be," a popular album by the rap group 2 Live Crew. A six-member jury determined the album to be obscene.

Charles Freeman, owner of E-C Records, faces a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He plans to file an appeal after his sentencing, scheduled for Nov. 2.

The Recording Industry Association of America, the powerful Washington-based lobbying group, quickly condemned the verdict.

"We are appalled that a man has been convicted of obscenity for selling a musical work," said RIAA spokeswoman Trish Heimers. "The implications of this, with the current climate in the arts, is horrific. I am afraid that it's going to send a message to people that it's okay to say art is obscene. And it's not."

The RIAA will provide financial help to Freeman for his appeal, Heimers added.

Two Dallas-based record store chains will be tried next year on obscenity charges for selling "As Nasty as They Wanna Be." An Alabama record store owner was convicted in 1989 for selling "Move Somethin'," a previous album by the Miami-based 2 Live Crew. But that conviction was overturned in February by a circuit court jury.

Freeman was arrested by undercover Broward County sheriff's deputies June 8 after selling one of them "As Nasty as They Wanna Be," which two days earlier had been declared obscene by a U.S. district judge in Florida.

That judge's ruling had no bearing on this verdict, according to Bruce Rogow, Freeman's lawyer. That ruling was the result of a civil suit, not criminal charges. This jury had to apply a tougher standard of proof -- it had to find the "Nasty" album obscene "beyond a reasonable doubt."

And it did.

Rogow today criticized the jury selection process, saying there was only one black person in the pool of 35 potential jurors for this case. Freeman is black, as are the members of 2 Live Crew. Rogow described the jury as "five upper-middle-class white women, and one Hispanic man."

"It means that this music came to these people from a foreign country," said Rogow, also a law professor at Nova University here. "The Liberty City ghetto {where 2 Live Crew got started} is a foreign country to upper-middle-class white people."

"I had figured that the guy would be found guilty, based on the jury chosen," said Luther Campbell, leader of 2 Live Crew, through a spokeswoman today. "The community standards in a black area and in a white area are completely different."

As Freeman left the courthouse today, he shouted, "It's unfair. The jury was all white. They don't know where E-C Records is. They don't know a goddam thing about the ghetto!"

Prosecutors contended that "As Nasty as They Wanna Be" violates community standards with explicit and sometimes violent references to sex, and isn't protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

"The First Amendment does not give you the right to say what you want, when you want and where you want," argued Assistant State Attorney Leslie Robson. "With rights and freedom come responsibility."

But in his closing argument, defense attorney Rogow told the jury that "one person's vulgarity is another person's art" and argued that the jury could not convict Freeman if they found any artistic merit in the album.

Broward County Judge Paul Backman told the jurors they should find the album obscene if it appeals to "morbid, shameful interest in sex" and violates the standards of average residents of Broward County.

As the jurors began deliberating, alternate juror Sheryl Salomon, who sat through the trial but was not needed on the final panel, said she would have voted for acquittal. "I was very offended by it, especially the lyrics, but I have to question whether there is not artistic value," she said. "It's music, it's still music."

In a related case, members of 2 Live Crew face another trial in Florida next week on obscenity charges stemming from a live performance last June at an adults-only nightclub.