Federal Judge Who Penned Video Game Reviews Caught Up in Barnyard Porn Scandal

The Chief Judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court is under scrutiny for maintaining a personal website with graphic sexual images while at the same time presiding over a closely-watched obscenity trial.

Judge Alex Kozinski, as GamePolitics has reported in the past, is a video game fan who has authored game reviews for the Wall Street Journal.

According to this morning’s Los Angeles Times:

Kozinski acknowledged posting sexual content on his website. Among the images on the site were a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. He defended some of the adult content as "funny" but conceded that other postings were inappropriate.
 

The obscenity trial over which Kozinski was presiding included charges related to images of bestiality. At the request of the prosecutor, Kozinski issued a 48-hour stay of the proceedings.

There’s an additional video game connection, of sorts. California’s appeal of a lower court ruling which found the state’s 2005 video game law unconstitutional is currently before the 9th Circuit. There’s no reason to expect that Judge Kozinski’s problems would impact the Court’s review of the video game law, however.

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54 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let he who has not fapped to bizarre porn online cast the first stone. And then get the hell off the internet because they’re a damn liar.

  2. StealthKnight says:

    Chile pornography????!!!  rotflmao!  I think you mean child pronography which is is illegal in many countries. However, what age range each country considers is different. The images that were reffered were images of people painted as animals and having sex.  Too weird for my taste but that isn’t bestiality.

  3. phexitol says:

    Well, if the video is the one I think it is, it’s actually somewhat humorous (in a disturbing "why the f*** would anybody put themselves in that situation!?" kind of way), and definitely not bestiality. It is available on Dailymotion and YouTube – the animal in question is a donkey – and has been up for quite a while, so it’s not even in violation their TOS. Not to defend the judge (or condemn him), but this is something that needs a lot more context before any meaningful conclusions can be drawn. Anyone who doesn’t realize this obviously hasn’t seen very many blogs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure of the details, but was this some ftp site or the like that was accessed, or a full http index type thing?

    If it was nothing more than a web-directory, then, to be honest, you can’t really call that ‘making available to the public’, since it wasn’t presented, or offered, or advertised it was simply there.

    As for his standing trial in a decency case, well, I’m not sure I consider that hypocritical as such, at least, not if the site was not a ‘public’ one. If anything, the defence have less cause to argue with his judgement if it is shown that he isn’t some of kind ‘repent or burn in hell!’ type character.

    That said, UK culture is slightly different, when we found a Minister dead on Hampstead Heath wearing nothing but suspenders and with an orange in his mouth, I think there was more amused sympathy than outrage.

     

  5. Manuel deBettencourt ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As I said before, porn addiction is more shameful than WoW addiction.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Its the same in the US..

    Posession of Chile Pornagraphy is Illegal in most, if not all, Civilized Countries.

     

    Images that are being referred to in this story or even the case he’s handling is a fuzzy area, but there are images on the internet that are most definately illegal.

  7. TheEdge says:

    I read this on Fark,but I wasn’t aware he was on the vidja gamezz lable as well.

    @Eville

    He did more of a bestiality esque Spitzer.Why cows,though?

  8. cullarn says:

    i take it you entirely deleted jack thompsons post that this was the proof he needed to bring down the "system" gp ? lol

  9. Werechicken says:

    Sorry didn’t see the part about him being a video game supportir, I dunno I thought they were doing the same thing as the woman who was part of a video game legislation and they reported on her alledged drug use and mortage payments, both of which have nothing to do with video game legislation. and really shouldn’t have been in this site.

  10. Brokenscope says:

    Um its also a trial related to free speech and obscenity.

     

    You should recognize the importance of those words if you have been around this sight for even a short time.

  11. gamepolitics says:

    I assume you are referring to this piece and the Julia Boseman piece from yesterday.

    I agree that they are peripheral to the game space, this one more so than Boseman. However, we have covered Judge Kozinski (briefly) for his gaming chops in the past, virtually all of the news reports mentioned his video game reviews for the WSJ. The fact that the California game law appeal sits in his circuit sealed the decision for me.

    As for the Boseman piece, I’m sympathetic to those who felt her behavior was personal. However, in the sphere that GamePolitics covers, she is one of those who has actively tried to legislate video games. Twice. So, if, as an elected official, she used marijuana, didn’t pay her mortgage (or her property taxes), I think it’s something we can cover here. It certainly was big news in North Carolina.


  12. Eric Greif ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is reporting the news, plain and simple. This is a Judge who admits to being a video game fan. It would show bias if gamepolitics DIDN’T report this story since it shows a gamer (though a gamer who holds a judicial position) in a bad light. There is no bias here and I actually appreciate gamepolitics for bringing this story to light.

  13. Mark says:

    You know, that would have been good information to have in the original post. 

     

    Okay, I’m fine with this.  Never mind, move along.  Nothing to see here.

  14. werechicken says:

    I’m sorry but has game politics degenerated into a poo slinging chimp?

    Since when did this site participate in such tactics? There’s a tenious link at best with video games, was this really worthy of being post, is there that little news that actually has a dirct link to video games?

  15. Arashi says:

    He didn’t really do anything illegal per se, but as I’ve stated above, that’s just…

    …gross.  Seriously.  What in the world is so attractive about women painted to look like cows or farm animals?!  (I really do not want to know.)

    However, the fact that he’s maintaining this site at the same time as a trial with similar interests/issues is a no-no.

  16. Anonymous says:

    From Reason:

    "Kozinski is also a great ally of the First Amendment, defending the free speech rights of flag burners and homophobes alike. All that, combined with his hatred of statism and his enthusiasm for the free market, has earned him a reputation as one of the most libertarian judges in the country."

  17. NovaBlack. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    are you sure ?:S

     

    i know in the uk, that obscene pics of kids and sexual obuse etc are considered illegal. You can get jailed if they find them on your hard drive etc.

     

    Not saying your wrong or anything, the US isnt the UK 🙂 just an observation

  18. Rennie Davis says:

    No hypocrisy here, at least as far as the sexually explicit content is concerned.

    Judge Kozinski is one of the most stalwart defenders of freedom of speech in the federal appellate courts. Regarding pornography on the Internet, he has argued that laws restricting pornography on the Internet threaten free speech.

    "Children should be protected by their parents. I think the government should recognize that this is primarily a parental issue. These laws often have unintended consequences of chilling free speech; the government should not be in the business of trying to solve family and personal problems."

    Does this argument sound familiar to anyone?

  19. Brokenscope says:

    The trial he is presiding over involves free speech, legal definitions of obscenity, the legality of materials that could be seen as obscene, and the distribution of said materials.

     

    This is a precedent setting case(Because of how extreme the materials are) that could affect/effect(Fuck it im tired) games and other media.

  20. Ares Draxus says:

    Whenever I read articles on this sort of act it makes me sort of glad that there is no way that cross species fertilization can happen with humans and animals. 

  21. DarknessDeku! says:

    I don’t remember any content on the internet being illegal.  That judge did nothing wrong.

  22. Mark says:

    I guess I’m a little confused because I’ve now seen a few "news items" that deal not with games in particular but with events surrounding people who are tangentially connected to the games process.  Let me see if I can make my confusion clear.

    A story about something happening to a prominent game creator?  Okay, that I can see.  One about a game law?  Sure, definitely.  One about a video game hating attorney?  Okay, why not?  One about a judge who happens to be a fan of video games?  Kinda streatching it.  A story about a video game law writer being in a political fight?  Again, streatching it out.  A story on a soldier who died and who played games?  Um…okay?

    I guess I’m just curious why stories such as these are going up.  Is it one of those "If you’ve ever been involved in/with games, we’ll report on it."  I guess I’m just getting a little concerned that the scope of the stories on this site are getting a little too broad.  Oh well, not that it’s very important, it’s just a concern of mine.

  23. Andrew Eisen says:

    From what I understand these images (non of which are illegal or even that shocking in my estimation) were on his own private website that he allegedly never used court computers to access.  Furthermore, there were no links to these images from the website proper; someone knew or lucked onto the subdirectory name.

    I understand and agree that judges are expected to maintain a certain level of professional decorum but nothing I’ve seen so far indicates that any of this personal stuff bled into his job.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  24. mogbert says:

    Yes, it is illegal… however, he isn’t being accused of betiality, or even having pictures of beastiality. He had pictures of women painted up, and the state of the animal has nothing to do with it’s legality, it’s what the person is doing with the animal. Cavorting is such a mild term that I’m sure it wouldn’t have been used if there was anything illegal about it.

    In short, Judges are human too and may like to look at porn.

    Everyone is acting like this is a scandal, but in truth he hasn’t broken any laws. What he may have done is something along the lines of putting the position of Judge in a unfavorable light or something similar dealing with having people make fun of the position. He might have disciplinary procedings, he might be suspended, but he won’t be imprisoned or have his computer searched.

  25. Gray-17 says:

    Dunno, but it brings to my mind some show on the cattle industry I saw a while back. In particular the part where they were getting sperm from a bull for breeding.

    So really it could be pretty much anything, and just be taken out of context, or it could be something actually disgusting.

  26. Arashi says:

    While *he* technically may not have done something illegal, I do believe that bestiality is illegal.  (Even if it wasn’t, come on, that’s just plain NASTY.)

  27. Loudspeaker says:

    Well in all fairness they are on a 48 hour holding pattern to evaluate the situation.  I suspect the judge will excuse himself from the case, as he should.

    His page was in poor taste, but poor taste isn’t illegal.

    -Loudspeaker
    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  28. gamepolitics says:

    there’s a certain presumption that judges maintain decorum. Personally, I don’t care what he’s into (as long as it’s not illegal), but for a man in his position this was rather reckless.


  29. Andrew Eisen says:

    Eh, so what?

    With the exception of copyright issues stemming from the songs he had on the site, owning and looking at porn is not illegal.  Nothing in that article indicates (other than the music thing) that he’s done anything wrong.

    Besides, I would expect someone making a ruling on obscenity to know what the hell he’s talking about.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  30. gamepolitics says:

    I understand the site has been taken down. I believe it was alex.kozinski.com or .org… mentioned somewhere in the LA Times piece.


  31. NovaBlack. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal

     

    err.. hilarious? really.. uh… funny… yeah… oh no wait WIERD. WIERD was the word i was looking for.

     

    @gp do we have a link to the site in question? Not for that particular image or anything, just to get a feel of what this guy is like, if his personality is expressed through his personal website. Its an interesting situation that a person can have  two seemingly incongruent sides to their personality!

  32. Ghost Coins says:

    Not so much hypocrisy as bad form, and potentially damning to the, I would imagine, defense’s case.  If a judge knows that they might have mitigating circumstances that will adversely affect a trial, they should recuse themselves, or step down, from overseeing the proceedings.  Granted, they take oaths to ensure that their private affairs do not affect judicial review, but a quick glance at the legal system will net you more than a fair share of judges using their own moral compasses and beliefs to dictate, for or counter to, the written law.

    The issue at hand now is with a judge who has a socially unacceptable site that has, potentially, beastiality on it, the prosecution will likely conclude that the people can not have a fair case with a biased judge.  If the case goes forward and the judge stays on the bench, it will be overturned on appeal regardless of which side the the ball lands on.  If it goes the prosecution’s way, the defense can argue that the judge was unfair against them to prove that he wasn’t biased.  If the ball falls to the defense, then the prosecution can argue that the judge was no impartial.  Either way, there will be more filings, and most likely the first round will be declared a mistrial or overturned on appeal.

    It is not a matter of hypocrisy, but a matter of fairness in the system….as loaded as that term is.  He should step down to ensure that the trial can go on, granted most likely set back a few months, but would ensure a nominally fair judge…assuming the new judges doesn’t have a pechant for something equally salacious.

     

    To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. Edward R. Murrow

  33. Anonymous says:

     He did not pull a Spitzer. too many people on here keep cying hypocrisy when they obviously don’t know what it means. So this guy likes porn and has his own porn site. So what! There is no law that says if you are a judge you have to hate porn. He never said he despises porn in any way. He is being attacked unfairly because certain groups think his love of pornography is going to affect his decision on this obscenity case he is presiding over. As long as he is objective and makes his decision on the basis of law, I see no problems or controversy here. Judges take an oath not to let their personal opinions influence their rulings. Until someone can prove he broke that oath, I am unconvinced of any wrongdoing. 

  34. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Except for the part where he didn’t do anything illegal? Then again, what is meant by a guy "cavorting" with an aroused farm animal? >_>


  35. Eville1NSI ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oooooooops. He looks like Wayne Knight to me. Poor guy, He pulled a Spitzer.

  36. Herrvillain ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Picture yourself on a farm in the country,
    With pulchritudinous porkers with looking glass styes,
    Suddenly someone is there in the paddock,
    The judge with perforated colon.

    Alex on the farm with stallions.

     

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hypocrite? No.

    But if he maintains a site with bestiality images, while ruling on a trial involving bestiality, isnt that a legal nono? Then again I am not versed in legalese.

  38. Kris O. says:

    I don’t know about the Spitzer thing. This guy wasn’t hypocritical (at least from what I could tell from the above story). He’s just a judge in a case, that happens to deal with obscenity. How exactly does "Guy likes pr0n–story at 10!" get in the news, anyway?

Comments are closed.