BARTOW, Fla. – A judge set bail at $15,000 Wednesday for a Colorado man who wrote a how-to guide for pedophiles.
Phillip Greaves of Pueblo is charged with violating the state's obscenity law, a third-degree felony that could land him in prison for five years.
The 47-year-old was arrested Monday in Colorado, but Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd claims jurisdiction in the case because Greaves sold and mailed a copy of his book to undercover deputies in Florida who had requested a copy.
Court-appointed public defender Francis Solorzano, assigned because Greaves could not afford an attorney, first asked Judge John Kirkland to drop the case.
"Any finding of probable cause would tend to have a chilling effect on free speech," Solorzano said. "What we're dealing here is mere words. There are no images in the book."
But Kirkland said the judge who signed the arrest warrant had already found probable cause and he could not override that decision.
The self-published book — "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" — caused a flap when it showed up on Amazon in November. It was later removed from the site.
Greaves, who has no criminal record, writes in the book that pedophiles are misunderstood, as the word literally means to love a child. He adds 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 was incensed when he heard about the book and that no one had arrested Greaves for selling it. The book, Judd said, included first-person descriptions of sexual encounters, purportedly written from a child's point of view.
During the hearing Wednesday, Greaves' attorney asked Kirkland to reduce or eliminate the $15,000 bond.
"It is 15 times the standard bond schedule for a third-degree felony," Solorzano said. "That should be considered excessive."
But prosecutor Brad Copley said the state believes the $15,000 bond "is on the low side."
Kirkland decided to keep the bond at $15,000. If Greaves does post it, he must stay in the state of Florida, not use a computer and not have contact with anyone under 18.
Solorzano said it is unlikely Greaves will be able to raise the bail money. He is being held at the Polk County Jail and told local media on Tuesday that he "only has sex with grown-ups" and that writing and selling his book falls under his constitutional right to free speech.
He is charged under Florida's obscenity law, which prohibits the "distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors."