A record-store owner Wednesday was found guilty of obscenity for selling a record by the controversial rap group 2 Live Crew.
Jurors deliberated less than three hours before convicting Charles Freeman on a misdemeanor obscenity charge. He was arrested by undercover Broward County sheriff's deputies June 8 for selling the Miami rap group's album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" in his E-C Records store.The case went to a jury of five women and one man after final arguments this morning. Freeman could get a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Sentencing was set for Nov. 2.
"It doesn't represent my community where E-C Records is!" Freeman shouted as he left the courthouse. "It's unfair. The jury was all white. They don't know where E-C Records is. They don't know a . . . thing about the ghetto."
Prosecutors contended the album exceeds the limits of community standards and free speech with explicit and sometimes violent references to sex. Freeman was arrested two days after U.S. District Judge Jose Gonzalez ruled the lyrics were obscene.
But in his closing argument, defense attorney Bruce 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 group's album.