Official press Release
On November 5, after three years of criminal charges, legal proceedings, and seemingly countless delays, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund defendant Gordon Lee will finally have his day in court.
Lee’s trial comes after three years of legal action arising from the Halloween 2004 distribution of Alternative Comics #2, a Free Comic Book Day sampler which featured an excerpt from the critically acclaimed graphic novel The Salon that depicted Pablo Picasso in the nude, and was allegedly handed to a minor. The CBLDF has spent over $80,000 on Lee’s defense since taking the case in early 2005, and expects costs to reach six figures by the end of the trial.
Mr. Lee will stand trial for two misdemeanor counts of distributing harmful to minors material, and faces penalties of up to a year and prison and $1,000 in fines for each count if convicted.
“Everyone at the Fund is glad to finally take this case to trial,” says CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. “For three years Gordon has had to live with the tormenting reality of this case hanging over his head, and to suffer criminal accusations, a complete change of facts by the prosecution midstream, and numerous delays when it looked like the end was near. All for something that shouldn’t have been prosecuted in the first place. We look forward to taking this case to trial, and because of the donations of the CBLDF’s supporters, are confident that we have the best team possible to prove Gordon’s innocence.”
Outside the comics community, Lee’s case is being closely watched by the mainstream media for its implications on Free Expression. Stories have appeared in venues including NPR’s Morning Edition, CourtTV, The New York Times, The Book Standard, Publishers Weekly, New York Magazine and dozens more.
“This case has broad consequences for all retailers of First Amendment protected material,” Brownstein explains. “If Gordon is found guilty, it would establish a precedent that makes anyone offering any book, magazine, or film depicting non-sexual nudity vulnerable to a similar prosecution in the State of Georgia.” He adds, ” We’re confident that Gordon is not guilty of the charges he’s accused of, and that the work in question comes nowhere near the threshold the law requires to deem a work harmful to minors.”
For a detailed summary of the case and its developments, please see Gordon Lee: The Road to Trial.
To support Gordon’s defense by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, please visit our donations page.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit www.cbldf.org