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GTE Named in Satellite TV Obscenity Case

February 19, 1990|From Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Obscenity charges have been issued against a satellite adult-movie channel and three other companies, including GTE Corp., over broadcasts of what officials described as hard-core sex movies.

Four companies and 10 individuals were indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury over the movies, which authorities said were picked up on home satellite dishes and, in some cases, recorded and viewed by teen-agers.

Among those named in the 18-count indictment unsealed Friday were GTE Corp. of Stamford, Conn.; a subsidiary, GTE Spacenet Inc. of McLean, Va.; U.S. Satellite Inc. of Murray, Utah, and Home Dish Satellite Networks Inc. of New York, also known as the Exxxtasy Channel.

The charges involve allegedly obscene videos with titles such as "Hardcore Girlfriends" and "Fantasy Chamber" that were beamed into Alabama on the Exxxtasy Channel.

Barbara Foelbar, manager of corporate communications for GTE Spacenet, said "as a communications common carrier, regulated by the (Federal Communications Commission), we have no authority to censor what customers use our satellite to transmit."

An investigation began about a year ago after District Attorney Jimmy Evans' office received complaints from parents whose children were buying copies of adult movies at school.

"The movies had been taped by other students off satellite dish transmissions," he said.

He said his investigators began taping the material and found it contained graphic sex scenes which he called "hard-core obscenity" and "clearly a violation of the Anti-Obscenity Act."

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