Special effects artist found not guilty of corrupting morals
Published Friday, December 21, 2012 11:07AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 22, 2012 7:18PM EST
MONTREAL—At the end of a second day of deliberation, the 12-member jury in the trial of Remy Couture, a special effects artist charged with obscenity, ruled not guilty in an exceptional case that tested what level of sex and violence Canadians are willing to tolerate.
While the trial lasted only two weeks, the case had dragged on for three-and-a-half years since Couture was arrested for making a movie that blended very high amounts of gore, violence and sex.
“I’ve gone through a lot of stress and anguish,” said Couture, who added he was confident that the jury would rule in his favour.
After the jury was sequestered, CTV Montreal was able to report that the prosecution wasn’t even interested in continuing the controversial case. Barely a week after his arrest, Couture was offered a bargain: to plead guilty in exchange for no criminal record, he declined on principal.
A costly gamble, Couture admitted with the hindsight of a multi-year saga.
On the stand Friday, the jury heard from the final witness in Couture's defence, who presented a lengthy argument asserting that art in movies often exists to disgust and that the existence of scenes offensive to some is no reason to condemn a movie.
The jury heard expert opinions from the prosecution, which said such movies are dangerous because they can encourage violence against women--a defence witness claims it’s a flawed argument.
Richard Begin, a university professor and film expert, said that an artist should not be held responsible for actions taken by people who watch a movie.
Special effects filmmaker Remy Couture speaks outside the Montreal courthouse in Montreal, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)