Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his corporation were convicted yesterday of engaging in organized crime and pandering obscenity - selling material judged to be obscene.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge William J. Morrissey sentenced Flynt to seven to 25 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 - the maximum penalty for conviction of engaging in organized crime.
A concurrent sentence of six months in the Hamilton County Workhouse and a $1,000 fine was imposed for the pandering obscenity conviction.
Hustler Magazine, Inc., was fined $10,000 for engaging in organized crime and $1,000 for pandering obscenity.
Flynt's wife, Althea Leasure, his brother, Jimmy Flynt, and magazine vice president Al Van Schaik were acquitted of pendering obscenity and engaging in organized crime.
THe five-week trial was considered a test of whether legal proceedings can be used to impose community obscenity standards and a test of the Ohio law on engaging in organized crime.
The law, which became effective in January, 1974, defines organized crime as a syndicate formed to commit a crime. A syndicate is defined as any group of five or more persons who collaborate to commit an offense for profit.
In a statement Flynt said he was "deeply saddened" by the verdict, which he plans to appeal, and that, "I would like to pose this question: murder is a crime, writing about a crime is not. Sex is not a crime, writing about it is. Why"