A U.S. district judge Tuesday refused to dismiss the Justice Department’s case against the owner of a major pornography studio, shooting down the defense’s argument that federal obscenity statutes are unconstitutional.

The ruling by Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia could pave the way for John Stagliano and his company, Evil Angel Productions, to stand trial as soon as early summer. However, at a hearing Tuesday the judge said he would consider allowing defense lawyers to file an immediate appeal of his decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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