Salt Lake police plan to burn the adult film "Cafe Flesh," seized last month from the Blue Mouse Theatre.
The destruction of the film will end a somewhat controversial prosecution of the art-film theater, raided April 27 by vice officers who viewed the film and decided it was obscene.But Blue Mouse managers felt the seizure of the film was unlawful and unnecessary and tried to get the film back.
On May 6, 3rd Circuit Judge Eleanor Van Sciver ruled the seizure was procedurally flawed and ordered the film returned to the theater. That order, however, was stayed when Assistant City Prosecutor Cecelia Espenoza announced she planned to appeal the judge's decision.
This week, Espenoza and theater attorneys reached an agreement in which police would be allowed to destroy the film on the condition the city not appeal the decision and that any pending criminal charges against the theater employees be dropped.
"I think it was a good agreement," said Espenoza. "I think it demonstrates the city wasn't out to get anyone, but that our position wasn't totally without merit."
Blue Mouse attorney John O'Connell said he counts it a victory for the theater because managers "didn't want to get into any extensive litigation."