Published December 21, 2010
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The author of a self-published how-to guide for pedophiles that was pulled from Amazon.com last month after widespread outrage has been arrested on obscenity charges.
Phillip Ray Greaves, a 47-year-old retired nurse's aide in Pueblo, Colo., was arrested Monday at his home by sheriff's deputies from Florida's Polk County and charged with violating Florida's obscenity law, a third-degree felony. During a brief court appearance on Monday, Greaves waived his right to fight extradition. He will be booked into the Polk County jail around 11 a.m. Tuesday and has his next court appearance scheduled for Wednesday.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his office was able to arrest Greaves on Florida charges because Greaves sold and mailed his book -- "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-Lover's Code of Conduct" -- directly to undercover Polk deputies. Greaves even signed the book, Judd said.
"He very proudly sold us his personal copy," Judd told The Associated Press. "I was outraged by the content. It was clearly a manifesto on how to sexually batter children ... You just can't believe how absolutely disgusting it was."
Greaves told FoxNews.com last month that nearly 300 copies of his self-published e-book were sold on Amazon.com's Kindle Store in 24 hours prior to its disappearance from the site on Nov. 11. He said he also received more than 3,000 complaints about the $4.79 e-book, which seeks to make "pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them," according to the product description that was posted while the book was available for sale.
Greaves said he does not promote pedophilia, but that it "is something that I have sympathy for because of my own childhood."
Greaves said he was exposed to sex when he was 7 years old. "I was not molested, but I was exposed to sex at an early age … Sometimes those relationships are positive. No, I do not advocate pedophilia. I just feel that I understand it."
Pueblo Police Chief James Billings told FoxNews.com last month that his department would conduct a "cursory review" of Greaves' material.
"We have no indication that a crime has been committed," Billings said last month. "But we are looking at the situation to have a better understanding of what this book is all about and to see if there's something we should be concerned about."
On Monday, Laurie Shorter, a spokeswoman for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department, said Greaves would be held in the county jail on the Florida charge. Another department spokeswoman said Greaves would leave for Polk County later in the day.
Greaves made a brief court appearance before District Court Judge David Crockenberg in Pueblo on Monday. Greaves, who was represented by a public defender, was the one defendant who did not wear a striped prison uniform during his court appearance, although his wrists were handcuffed in front of him.
Denver attorney David Lane, who has handled several high-profile First Amendment cases, said Florida could have a hard time extraditing Greaves, who is charged with distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors.
He is entitled to a hearing where he can argue he should not be sent there to face charges.
"The main question is whether what he's accused of in Florida would be a crime in Colorado," Lane said. "Obviously, it's not a crime in Colorado because he hasn't been arrested here."
Writs of extradition -- the paperwork necessary to send somebody to another state -- are routinely signed by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a former Denver district attorney. But Lane, who is not affiliated with this case, said it involves a different set of issues.
"Most of other extradition cases present clear-cut cases, the defendant was dealing drugs in that other state or some other crime that is also illegal here," Lane said.
Ritter's spokesman, Evan Dreyer, did not immediately return a message.
Greaves has no criminal record, but his self-published book of advice on how to make sexual encounters with children safe caused a flap when it showed up on Amazon in November. The book was later removed from the site.
Judd, known throughout Florida as a crusader against child predators, said he was incensed when he heard about the book and that no one had arrested Greaves for selling it.
"What's wrong with a society that has gotten to the point that we can't arrest child pornographers and child molesters who write a book about how to rape a child?" Judd said.
The book included first-person descriptions of sexual encounters, purportedly written from a child's point of view.
Greaves argues in the book that pedophiles are misunderstood, as the word literally means to love a child. He adds that it is only a crime to act on sexual impulses toward children, and offers advice that purportedly allows pedophiles to abide by the law.
Judd said he and his detectives got Greaves to sell the book to them for $50; he sent it through the mail and told officers it was his last copy.
"If we can get jurisdiction ... we're coming after you," Judd said. "There's nothing in the world more important than our children."
Some legal experts questioned whether Greaves' right to free speech would come into play if there's a trial.
"As bad as this book may be, the charge opens a very big Pandora's box," said Dennis Kenney, a former police officer in Polk County and a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "The charge sounds to me like a significant overreach."
FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.