WASHINGTON — Two California-based companies that operate sexually explicit telephone message services were fined $600,000 each by the Federal Communications Commission for failing to restrict minors' access to their services.
The penalties against Mill Valley's Audio Enterprises and Intercambio Inc. in San Jose were the result of FCC investigations prompted by parental complaints. The fines, imposed in April, were the first actions by the FCC against the controversial dial-a-porn services.
A letter to the FCC from a woman in Michigan said her 10-year-old daughter was molested by two teen-aged brothers after all three had listened to an Audio Enterprises sexually explicit message. The complaints about Intercambio came from a woman who said that her 16-year-old son's behavior toward girls was altered and that he required psychotherapy after listening to dial-a-porn messages more than 280 times in a two-month period.
The services are "the ultimate in sleazy, and it deserves the ultimate penalty we can prescribe," FCC Commissioner James H. Quello said.