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AIDS foundation accuses adult filmmaker of violating condom law

AIDS Healthcare Foundation files a complaint to test whether L.A. County will enforce a porn condom law recently passed by voters.

March 19, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz and Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times
  • Michael Weinstein, seen last month, said his group filed a complaint against Immoral Productions. "The producers have to follow the law, which is also clearly the will of the people, and protect their performers by having their performers use condoms in the production of film," he said.
Michael Weinstein, seen last month, said his group filed a complaint against… (Bret Hartman / Associated…)

Saying an adult film company shirked new rules requiring performers to use condoms, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation lodged a complaint this week to test whether Los Angeles County officials will follow the letter of the law when it comes to unprotected sex in porn.

Officials from the foundation said they filed the complaint with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health after receiving an anonymous tip and accompanying video footage from someone who had been on the set of an Immoral Productions shoot.

"We received a letter, indicating they were operating without use of condoms and were streaming content on an ongoing basis. We went to their website and identified the fact that they weren't following the health and safety measures they were required to do," Michael Weinstein, president of the foundation, said in a teleconference call Tuesday.

Measure B, which took effect in December after it was approved by more than 56% of county voters, mandates that porn actors use condoms while filming in the county and that they and adult film production companies take other safety measures.

"The producers have to follow the law, which is also clearly the will of the people, and protect their performers by having their performers use condoms in the production of film," Weinstein said, adding that he believes some of those at Immoral Productions thumbed their noses at authorities by bragging online about disobeying the law.

The complaint, addressed to county Health Director Jonathan Fielding, argues that Immoral Productions violated several provisions of the law, despite receiving a permit from the county.

Officials from the foundation said the complaint was in reality a test of whether county officials will enforce the new rules and regulations enacted under Measure B.

"This will be the first obvious and direct test of this. There's a law on the books, it needs to be enforced and we hope that the county will take it up," said the AIDS foundation's general counsel, Tom Myers. "It's really that simple."

Requests for comment from Immoral Productions and the Department of Public Health were not immediately returned.

The complaint says Immoral Productions also failed to provide proof of blood-borne pathogen training and did not display the proper signs notifying production staff that condoms are required, among other alleged violations.

The Chatsworth adult film company was also raided in May by the Los Angeles Police Department's vice squad, according to Adult Video News, for conducting a live webcam show without a permit.

Weinstein and others from the foundation said they have seen little, if any, enforcement efforts or strategies regarding the new law from county officials besides issuing a letter saying permits were required.

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

frank.shyong@latimes.com

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