- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - Opening statements were postponed Tuesday at the trial of an Arizona pornography studio owner charged with operating a brothel.

The postponement was called when an attorney in the case against William James Hartwell had fallen ill.

Opening statements are now scheduled for Wednesday.

Hartwell denies running a prostitution ring and has accused the government of criminalizing speech protected by the First Amendment.

Authorities say prosecuting Hartwell for crimes related to prostitution was lawful.



Hartwell says he was running a legitimate business where amateurs could rent cameras, lights and props to create their own sex scenes with the help of a model.

Prosecutors say it was nothing more than a cleverly disguised brothel.

Hartwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of operating a house of prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual assault.

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