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Literature expert takes stand at trial

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The trial of Don Smith, a Woodyatt man accused of creating and distributing obscene material in October, 2000, continued at the Fort Frances Courthouse yesterday with an expert in horror literature taking the stand for the defence.

Dr. David Annandale, a professor of literature and film at the University of Manitoba and a published horror author, recounted horror literature stemming back to the 18th century.

He also viewed several mpegs from Smith’s pay-per-view Web site—short video clips featuring semi-nude or nude women being shot.

While Dr. Annandale noted the clips certainly have no plot, they would be acceptable to be used in his class as examples of “extreme horror” or when discussing “what are the more appropriate roles of art.”

When asked by Crown Attorney Christine Bartlett-Hughes if his students would find the clips offensive, Dr. Annandale replied, “I teach ‘A Clockwork Orange.’ Some people think it goes too far, others don’t.

“But people often believe in freedom of speech until they find something they don’t like.”

The cross-examination of Annandale continued today, with closing statements by both lawyers expected early next week.

Smith is facing five charges, including two counts of making videotapes featuring undue exploitation of sex and violence, one count of possessing similar material on a computer for the purposes of distribution, and two counts of distributing obscene matter via a Web site.

The Crown already has called its four witnesses—investigating officer Cst. Scott Gobeil of the Fort Frances OPP, psychiatrist Dr. Peter O. Collins, psychologist Dr. Neil Malamuth, and Det. Sgt. Robert Gagnon of the OPP Electronic Crime Unit.

The defence’s witnesses, called forth by lawyer Darren Sawchuk, so far have included Smith’s wife, Lorna, and Dr. Barry Grant, a professor of film studies and pop culture at Brock University.

The jury selection and pre-trial for this case began Oct. 21, with the trial getting underway Oct. 28.

Madame Justice H. Pierce is presiding.

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