A California pornographer was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $50,000 Wednesday, and U.S. Attorney Brent D. Ward immediately lauded the affect of the sentence on society.
LeJay Winkler, Yorba Linda, Calif., pleaded guilty to two counts on Aug. 2. that he operated a mail order business, Univeral Products, in Pomona, Calif.The first count was on mailing an unsolicited advertisement to Susan Schildmeyer, Sandy, after she had her name placed on a list of people who could not legally be sent such material. The second count was mailing obscene material into Utah, including material ordered by a postal inspector.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene ordered the prison term and fine and also imposed three years of probation.
In a press conference, Ward said that this is the first time a defendant in an adult obscenity case in Utah got a prison sentence. He expects "more, and more severe" sentences.
Ward said Winkler owned a 26,000-square-foot building where his two businesses operated. When a search warrant was executed, officers found 150 mailing trays ready to go out, each with 300 pieces of mail, which were unsolicited material with graphic photos or descriptions.
He said Winkler became wealthy in the business and had on his walls pictures of expensive cars he had owned as well as his "palatial residence."
He gave Schildmeyer a Justice Department award, and said she was an individual who made a difference that improved the community.
Ward said he wanted to thank Schildmeyer personally, "as a father of seven" for helping to halt the flow of such material into Utah.
Ward said if a child opens such an ad it could cause lasting harm by changing his attitude toward sex and adult activity, even toward his own mother.
He said "We are talking really about our respect for women and our respect for children," mostly. This material "humiliates and degrades women" and is an assault on the viewers consciousness.
Assistant District Attorney Richard Lambert said Schildmeyer sparked investigation that put Winkler out of business.
Pornographers buy and sell lists of names and address, he said, and the government seized one list from Winkler with 60,000 names on it.
Schildmeyer said that in the past she imagined pornography was something like Playboy or Penthouse magazine, only more graphic.
"It's more grotesque. It's very depraved," she discovered when she got Winkler's brochure. She said she wishes she could regain her naivete. She will be driving to the store, and a picture from the brochure will pop into her mind.
She said she knows of five other women in her community who opened such mail and were afraid to tell their husbands.