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This item originally appeared in the Nov. 6, 2003, issue of The Tech Talk.

By CHRISTINA CHUA

Staff Writer

Dan Sasha Birman, owner of Fantasy Video located on 2799 S. Service Road W., was found guilty by a jury from Lincoln Parish on an obscenity charge Oct. 29.

"The conviction of Mr. Dan Birman will result in Mr. Birman being sentenced on the felony of obscenity charge," Third District Attorney Bob Levy said.

Undercover state troopers had bought pornographic video tapes from Birman's store.

Birman was found guilty of one out of the four obscenity charges brought against him when he was indicted in June.

Birman refused to comment until his sentencing on Nov. 12.

Mark Ramsey, assistant manager of Fantasy Video, said they would not comment on the verdict.

Kamie Treybig, a graduate student of nutrition and dietetics, said she does not approve of pornography and is glad to see some justice done.

"I think it is good that he is found guilty," Treybig said.

"I think pornography is cheating."

Levy said this case will deter future adult stores from opening at least in this area.

Since the opening of Fantasy Video, local churches and the community have tried to put the store out of business.

Area churches have organized anti-pornography walks and put up billboards criticizing pornography.

Levy said the jury has set the community standards during trial.

"While Mr. Birman is out on bail, the court instructed him not to sell any obscene material," Levy said.

Levy said it would be against the law if Birman continued to sell video tapes containing obscene material.

However, Brandon Miller, a freshman general studies major, said he hopes to see the adult store close their business.

"It is not a good thing that the shop is going to stay open," Miller said.

"It would be better if it closed down."

Birman was represented by four attorneys: Marty Stroud from Shreveport and Louis Sirkin, Jennifer Kinsley and John Herbison from Ohio.

In an Oct. 30 article in The (Monroe) News-Star, Herbison said Birman and the defense team were disappointed in the verdict.

Birman may face either a maximum sentence of a three-year prison term, a $2,500 fine or both.

Herbison also said a motion of appeal will soon be filed.

Birman is currently free on a $25,000 bond.


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