- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona man convicted of operating a brothel out of his pornography production studio is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

William Hartwell was found guilty two months ago of operating a house of prostitution, pandering and sexual assault.

Hartwell insisted he ran a legitimate studio where amateurs could rent cameras, lights and props to create their own sex scenes with the help of a model.

Authorities say the studio was a cleverly disguised brothel.

Police say female employees who took customers into rooms would insist on shooting a minutes-long video or taking 10 photos with sexual content before the cameras were discarded and they began to have sex.

Prosecutors say the images were taken to guard against future prostitution allegations.

Hartwell claimed the recorded sex acts were protected free speech.


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