Lawyer for Phoenix man accused of rape in webcast disputes that video shows sex

2009-09-08T00:00:00Z Lawyer for Phoenix man accused of rape in webcast disputes that video shows sexBy Gary Grado East Valley Tribune Arizona Daily Star
September 08, 2009 12:00 am  • 

A Phoenix man accused in the live Internet rape of a 21-year-old woman says a recording of the incident shows no sexual assault, according to a defense motion.

The attorney for Johnathon Hock, 21, also wrote that his client's Internet fame gave rise to enemies who were jealous of him, including the man who turned over the recording to Phoenix police, and they took advantage of the situation to spread false rumors.

The motion is a request to release Hock pending the trial. He is being held without bail on two counts of sexual assault and one count of voyeurism.

Police are searching through hard drives, laptop computers and servers to find more evidence, according to court documents. But as of the Aug. 26 filing, the only evidence disclosed to the defense is a short video copy of the incident made by a viewer who runs a Web site called Stickydrama.com.

"Interestingly enough, this video does not depict a sexual assault at all," attorney Bruce Blumberg wrote.

The video doesn't show any penetration, which is what must occur for sexual assault under Arizona law. Blumberg suggested in the motion that Hock committed voyeurism.

According to a search warrant affidavit and court documents filed by the state, Hock and the woman were partying on Feb. 25 when she decided to go to bed about midnight.

Hock then borrowed a computer belonging to the woman's roommate and signed on to Stickam.com, a social-networking site where users broadcast themselves live.

Hock had a risqué show on the Web site, and Blumberg compared him to "the modern-day equivalent of a street performer" with 1 million fans, including Hollywood starlets.

According to state documents, Hock sexually assaulted the woman while she apparently was passed out, and it was witnessed by viewers of the Web site, some of whom called police.

Blumberg writes that they were enemies of Hock's and they "falsely reported" a sexual assault.

Blumberg said one of the enemies was the owner and creator of Stickydrama.com, a Web site that touts itself as "the #1 tabloid about Internet celebrities and gossip."

When the owner got word of the alleged rape, he signed on to Stickam and made a "screencap" of the event, or copied what was on his monitor screen.

Stickydrama's owner, Christopher Stone, said he regularly criticized Hock on his Web site for his crude behavior, but "enemy" is too strong of a word.

"Sure I didn't like him, but I also don't like Pat Buchanan, but am I an enemy of Pat Buchanan?" Stone said.

Blumberg would not comment.

Stone turned over a copy of the video to Phoenix police, who said in court documents that it appeared to be incomplete.

Stone said it is apparent to him that Hock shut off the broadcast.

Blumberg argues in the motion that since the video, which is the crux of the case so far, doesn't reveal penetration, then the state hasn't met its standard for keeping Hock locked up.

Hock did nothing more than kiss the woman on the face and rambled on about his love for her, Blumberg wrote.

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