A Texas judge unexpectedly dismissed obscenity charges on Monday against a San Antonio record store owner and chastised prosecutors in the case over an album by rappers 2 Live Crew.
“It’s beyond me that it would take six months to determine this is not a prosecutable case,” Bexar County Court-at-Law Judge Tony Jimenez told assistant district attorneys, who requested that the charges against retailer Dave Risher, 36, be dropped. The dismissal came only hours before jury selection was to begin.
Risher was charged with violating Texas obscenity laws on June 28 after he sold a copy of 2 Live Crew’s raunchy rap record, “As Nasty as They Wanna Be,” to the 20-year-old son of anti-pornography crusader Teresa Weaver.
Risher, who faced a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine and spent about $7,500 in his free-speech battle, said he is considering filing lawsuits against both the San Antonio City Police Department and Weaver’s Citizens Against Pornography group.
“It’s a bittersweet victory,” Risher said in a phone interview. “The prosecutors took me for a six month joy ride through the legal system simply for the act of selling a popular music recording and then just dropped the case. It’s not right.”
The decision to drop charges against Risher came just two days before the sentencing of Florida retailer Charles Freeman, who was convicted of obscenity charges on Oct. 3 for selling a copy of the same album to an undercover police officer in Ft. Lauderdale.