Jury Tries Again on Messages Put in Porn Films
A federal judge today ordered deadlocked jurors to resume deliberations in the case of a Christian Broadcasting Network technician accused of interrupting soft-porn movies with religious messages.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Smith told the 12 jurors to go back behind closed doors after the foreman sent a note saying they were unable to decide whether Thomas Haynie was guilty or innocent of satellite piracy charges.
Smith noted that the jury had only deliberated about four hours Friday and less than an hour this morning before announcing it was deadlocked.
Haynie, 38, of Virginia Beach is charged with using a CBN earth station to send unauthorized messages that appeared Sept. 6, 1987, on the Playboy Channel and the American Exxxtasy Channel.
The printed messages, which overrode images of scantily clad women on television screens, told viewers to repent and heed the word of God.
During closing arguments Friday, defense attorney Hunter Sims said the government’s technical experts failed to prove CBN was the source of the messages. He said investigators did not review hundreds of other broadcast facilities throughout the Western Hemisphere.
James Wilson, a prosecutor for the Justice Department, countered that it was virtually impossible to investigate every satellite facility in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Cuba. He said more than 300 facilities were reviewed, locating seven character generators that could have made the messages at six locations.
The prosecution has said the character generator, amplifier and antennas at CBN led authorities to Haynie, who was the only operator on duty at the network’s Virginia Beach earth station at the time of the incidents.
The message Haynie was alleged to have sent appeared twice on the American Exxxtasy Channel while a topless woman was at a typewriter. A similar message later appeared on the Playboy Channel.
One message read: “Thus sayeth the Lord thy God. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Repent, the kingdom of God is at hand!”
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