A bit-part actor was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison and fined $150,000 for distributing videotapes depicting explicit scenes of bestiality, sadomasochism and torture.
Gary J. Levinson, 38, of Hollywood was imprisoned despite his claim that he did not know his mail-order activities were illegal. He said that the elaborate violence in his films was staged and that no one was hurt in making them.
But U.S. District Judge Laughlin E. Waters said, “The dreadful, obscene, egregious material . . . presented in court leads me to conclude that Mr. Levinson was pandering to a segment of society that is sick.”
The judge rejected Levinson’s argument that the films distributed through his business, Fischer Publications, do not violate community standards because similar materials are freely available at sexually oriented bookstores.
“Even though Los Angeles may be the pornography capital of the world, that still doesn’t justify it,” Waters said.