OTR Interviews

Aaron Dyer

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, March 10, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight, a Florida judge has given "Girls Gone Wild" the green light to film more girls baring all. The judge ruled filming underage females flashing their breasts without physical contact is not child pornography under Florida law.

The show's creator Joe Francis was arrested last year while filming spring break in Florida. He's facing 43 criminal charges, many of which hinge on whether the conduct is considered illegal or pornographic.

Joe Francis's lawyer Aaron Dyer joins us from Los Angeles.

Welcome, Aaron.

AARON DYER, "GIRLS GONE WILD" ATTORNEY: Thanks for having me, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Forty-three charges. The judge has just said that unless you have physical contact, just photographing bare breasts is not porno -- illegal under Florida law? What does that do to the 43 counts in that charging document?

DYER: Well, Greta, this is just a huge victory for this case. This ruling in particular really was -- that evidence that we were discussing, the videotapes that just show the girls flashing on the street, is really the foundation of the government's case.

They have tried to build a racketeering case by showing that "Girls Gone Wild" was intentionally targeting underage women. And that is not the case. "Girls Gone Wild" has never done that. They try to use college-age women. That's who they go after for their videos.

And the court has said that if a girl gets in a video and it turns out she's underage that it doesn't matter, it's not illegal under Florida law, and they cannot bring a racketeering charge based on that kind of conduct.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do the underage and overage young women -- do they sign releases so that the videos can then be sold, or is it just the mere fact that they bare themselves is a release?

DYER: No. You know, they do both. There are signed releases from some, and they always get an on-camera release from every girl, and they gwet a statement that the female is over the age of 18.

They make sure that they get some proof of that -- of being over the age of 18, not because -- as the judge said today, not because it's a violation of law, but just because "Girls Gone Wild" is after a different demographic.

They are after women that look like they're college age.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Joe Francis, the creator of this video series -- is he having a little bit of sort of a side grudge match with the local officials down there?

DYER: Well, I think you witnessed the beginning of this almost exactly a year ago today on your show when Joe came on with Lee Sullivan, the mayor of Panama City Beach, and got into a bit of a shouting match where he challenged the mayor.

And I think that that, along with a lawsuit by "Girls Gone Wild" against the mayor challenging their interference with "Girls Gone Wild"'s constitutionally protected activities, has led to this -- what appears to be a vendetta by the mayor that has really been the driving force and has led the officials in Panama City Beach to really take just an outrageous position and really try and use laws that don't apply to try and make an example out of Joe Francis.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right.

DYER: The mayor of Panama City Beach is trying to clean up the image of Panama City Beach and turn it from the mecca of spring break into a family resort, and it shows...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. I only have 15 seconds. I only have 15 seconds left. When's the trial date, assuming many of these counts still go forward?

DYER: There has been no trial date set yet, and we continue to plan to attack the government's case and just whittle away at it and try and bring it collapsing down to its knees.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Aaron. Thank you.

DYER: Oh, my pleasure, Greta.

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