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Attorneys' Exchanges Heated In Film Case

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THE ANN ARBOR NEWS Thursday, June 8,1967

Attorneys Exchanges Heated In Film Case

By William B. Treml
(News Police Reporter) tween testimony by three Uni- Cohen' is assistant ii,...,. ., ,..,
Crackling exchanges between yersity professors in yester-the Guild and in that post is
an angered prosecutor and two ^ay's resumption of "The paid by the Guild, the source
ttttta^ rwpnsp flttnrnpvs wpre p^^g Creatures" Municipal noted. Cohen previously h a d
Court examination, been identified by police as a

Three University students —faculty adviser for the Guild
Ellen P. Frank, Mary E. Bark- and a police official said yes-
ey and Elliot S. Barden, all 20 terday as far as arresting of-
—and an instructor in English ficers are concerned Cohen is
at the University, Hubert I. Co- still a faculty adviser.

hen, 36, are charged with show- Yesterday was the third ses-
ing a "lewd, obscene, filthy sion of the examination which
and indecent motion picture" started last Jan. 30 and has
on the campus last Jan. 18. been featured by sharp and
"The Flaming Creatures" was frequently heated clashes be-
seized by city police during the tween Prosecuting Attorney Wil-
showing and the arrests fol-liam F. Delhey and Defense At-
' lowed. Officers charge the torneys Dean Robb and Wil-
three students and Cohen, as liam Goodman, 'both of Detroit.
officers of the sponsoring Cine- Robb and Goodman are Ameri-
,ma Guild, were responsible for can Civil Liberties Union at-
the showing of the film. torneys.

A University source recently At. one point in yesterday's
identified Cohen as a "p a i d faring presiding Judge S. J.
'S~ ""' ' ' ' Elden banged his gavel repeat-
y ediy after Robb told the prose-
T cutor: "You're insulting besides
everything else!"

But Delhey continued to fire
a barrage of probing cross ex-
\ amination questions at defense

"••ses when he wasn't

>i) (.ling out objections to ques-
tions asked witnesses by Robb
or Goodman.

When it was over, Judge 31-
den had heard more than three
hours of testimony, cross (
amination and objections whi
included a reading by Goodm
of a description of the conter
of "Fanny Hill." Goodman Sc
that novel "is today protec'-fc
by the U.S. Constitution, a
cording to a ruling of the S
preme Court." Goodman rea
ing about the book said it co
tained detailed descriptions »f
every possible sex act by bo h
imen and women in a story C(K-
ering more than 200 pages."

The examination yesterday
started as it ended — with •9,
vigorous dispute between Del-
hey and the defense lawyers.
I Goodman attacked a contentiDn
by the prosecutor that City Po-
lice Detecth-r T.t. Eugene L.
Staudenm; ; testified in a
previous session that the de-
fendants told him that as offi-
cers of the Cinema Guild they
had previewed "The Flaming

Creatures" before it was shown
in the Architecture and Design
auditorium. Judge Elden ruled
the transcript record would be
checked at a later date and or-
dered the examination to con-

Robert A. Sklar, a 30-year-
old U-M history professor, was
Robb's first witness. Sklar's at-
tempts to testify about every-
thing from a 1932 movie star-
ring Marlene Dietrich to an ar-
ticle written by Jack Smith,
producer of "The Flaming Crea-
tures," was interrupted almost
sentence by sentence with ob-
jections from Delhey.

"This witness is qualified ac-
cording to the credentials given
here only as a movie-goer,"
Delhey asserted to the court.

However Judge Elden per-
mitted Sklar to testify to his
opinion of "The Flaming Crea-
tures" as an artistic work. The
University professor, who holds
a PhD degree from Harvard
University, said in his two
viewings of "Creatures" he had
decided the film was a parody
on early American films and
had "social significence."

When Sklar said that "Crea-
tures" appeared to be a parody
on a Marlene Dietrich movie
made 35 years ago by a Ger-
man-born director, Delhey shot
to his feet to object: "This wit-
ness is talking about a movie
I've never heard of. If the de-
fense has this film let him show
it. We've shown ours!"

The prosecutor was referring
to the fact that "Creatures"
has been shown twice in the
course of the examination since
last January.

| Sklar testified he did not feel
."Creatures" went "'beyond the
standards of the community"
and said he had seen produc-
tions which may have at local

theaters in recent months. He
called "Creatures" "... a
work of art with a mes-'a"'
. . . about sad, pathetic a, ,>--,;

activity. . ."

Under cross examination Del-
hey asked Sklar if his back-
ground as a film expert ". . .
is not self-taught, you have no
formal training, isn't that
right." Sklar said he had no
formal training.

The prosecutor lost a brief
fight to force Sklar to name
persons he knows to be mem-
bers of the Cinema Guild when
Judge Elden sustained an ob-
jection to the question.

"Is this Cinema Guild a se-
cret organization?" Delhey
asked. "I'd like to know who


ifternoon session of the
examination was featured by
testimony from John L. Styan,
an English-born, professor of
English at the University, and
a statement by Joseph L. Sax,
an associate professor at the
Law School. Both appeared for
the defense.

Styan, who said he has written
four books since graduation
from Cambridge University in
England, was challenged as an
expert witness by Delhey. How-
ever Judge Elden permitted the
professor to testify and Styan
called action in the "Crea-
tures" film ". . . ugly ... re-
pelling . . . crude . . . animal-
istic ..." But he said the film
was a satire on American ad-
vertising, was not obscene ond
would "turn people away )m
sex as portrayed there."

Under cross examintion Siyan
told Delhey he thought "Crea-
tures" ". . . is not a very
good film at all. .."

Sax appeared at the counsel
table and in a lengthy presen-
tation asked that the crirnnial
cases against the defendants be
dismissed as a violation of the
First Amendw; i' ^ix said the
University m ?tect free-
dom of inquiry and contended
the University community ". . .
has a ;'l- •'•^ ::• ' ' ;'-" ("'ntem-

porary tastes of the commun-
ity . . ."

^elhey challenged Sax's right

'. . . speak for the Univer-
sity Board of Regents ..."

"I don't know that he has
permission or authority to
speak the mind of the Univer-
sity of Michigan," Delhey said.

Robb and then Goodman fol-
lowed with closing arguments
in which they asked that the
case be dismissed. Their state-
ments and that given by Sax
took 45 minutes.

The prosecutor's answer was
one-minute long. He said Robb
". . . is going on sympathy,
Goodman is rehashing motions
already decided and I have no

knowing just for whom
. ., , upeaking . . ."

Judge Elden said he would
give defense counsel until July
12 to file briefs on various le-
gal questions still undecided
and the examination might re-
sume some time in August.

The importance with which
the prosecution views the issues
in this case became apparent
last January when Delhey per-
sonally took charge of the Mu-
nicipal Court examination. The
prosecutor has not appeared at
a lower court hearing or trial
since he assumed office 3V2
years ago. One of his six assist-
ants normally is assigned to
Municipal Court cases although
as an assistant prosecutor for
six years Delhey formerly ap-
peared regularly in the city

Yesterday Assistant Prose-
cutor Thomas Shea who was
with Lt. Staudenmaier on the
night the film was seized, sat
beside Delhey but did not ques-
tion witnesses and was not
called as a witness.