The chief judge in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Alex Kozinski, has created an uproar by posting sexually explicit photos and videos on his own website while he’s presiding over an obscenity case in Los Angeles.
A report in the Los Angeles Times said today some images were taken down, and public access to the site was blocked after reporters started asking questions.
But the report said the judge acknowledged in an interview he had posted materials including photographs of nude women on all fours painted to look like cows.
The 57-year-old jurist told the Times he thought the site “was for his private storage and that he was not aware the images could be seen by the public.”
He declined to comment on whether the issue should require him to step aside from the pending obscenity case. That dispute involves Ira Isaacs, a Los Angeles filmmaker accused of distributing criminally obscene sexual-fetish videos, including bestiality, the Times said.
The paper also reported one of the images it found on the judge’s site was of a partly nude man cavorting with animals.
New York University law professor Stephen Gillers, who specializes in legal ethics, told the newspaper the judge no longer should be on the case.
“The public can reasonably question his objectivity,” he said.
But Gillers also told the paper he believed Kozinski when he said he did not know the site was available to the public.
“This is going to upset a lot of people,” Gillers told the Times.
When confronted by the paper, Kozinki said he would delete some material, including the photographs depicting women as cows, which he called “gross,” as well as a graphic pictorial of a woman shaving her pubic hair.
The judge insisted to the newspaper those images must have been uploaded accidentally.
“I would not keep those files intentionally,” he said.
The newspaper reported its review of the site, before access was blocked, found public sex, contortionist sex and masturbation.
Kozinski was appointed to the highest position in the 9th Circuit last year after being appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. He’s previously argued against court administrators’ decisions to place filters on court computers to block pornography.
“Before the site was taken down, visitors to http://alex.kozinski.com were greeted with the message: ‘Ain’t nothin’ here. Y’all best be movin’ on, compadre,'” the news report said.
The sexual content of the site was revealed by typing in the name of a subdirectory, reporters said.
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