10-year term handed down in pornographic movie case

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The man convicted in March of showing children an uncut and unrated video of the 1991 movie "Zandalee," which included graphic scenes of lovemaking, was sentenced last week to 10 years in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Cauley McCilton "Clint" Cross, 36, formerly of Franklin, was convicted on three counts of exhibition of indecent scenes that lack serious value to minors and two counts of aggravated sexual battery for having placed the hand of a boy on the chest of a neighbor's daughter when the children were playing possum.

Because those two crimes are considered sex offenses, the 10-year sentence is to be served at 100 percent, meaning Cross won't ever be eligible for a probation hearing, according to Circuit Court Clerk Elinor Brandon Foster. People convicted of other crimes might be eligible for a parole hearing after serving only 30 percent of their sentence if they're considered a first time offender.

Meanwhile, Cross' defense attorney, Public Defender Michael Collins, is scheduled on Wednesday next week to request a new trial in the case. The request for a new trial is required before a defendant can take their case to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

During Cross' trial, his jury saw two scenes of the movie starring Nicholas Cage and Erika Anderson. It's a story of infidelity. Judge Reinhold plays the husband, a friend of a cocaine user played by Cage. The love triangle is set in New Orleans. The jury's verdict stands as a judgment that the uncut version of the film violates local community standards of decency and is therefore pornographic.

The film has had two ratings for display in theaters: NC-17 which prohibits showing the film to juveniles and R rating that permits showing the movie to juveniles accompanied by an adult.

Statements in court and explanations from law enforcement officers revealed that Cross played the video cassette on the night of March 29, 2008 to a girl and two boys, ages eight to 12. Cross' attorney said the two boys' mother set up his client and coerced the children to lie about what happened.