A Florida man representing himself in a multimillion dollar mail fraud case is attempting to defend himself in the most graphic way possible — by forcing the jury to watch him have sex.
Rogerio Scotton, 43, is facing 27 counts of mail fraud and two counts of lying to immigration authorities. The Brazilian-born businessman allegedly stole millions of dollars from FedEx, UPS, and DHL by creating phony accounts and fraudulently billing companies like Target and Walmart from 2007 to 2012. Scotton maintains his innocence, and he wants to introduce some sexy evidence to undermine the case:
He wants U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum to let him show what she called videos and photographs of “you and your wife engaged, I guess, in some very intimate acts” to the jurors who will decide his innocence or guilt.
Scotton hopes to undermine the prosecution’s allegation that he lied about details of his marriage to a Cuban woman to get permanent resident status here. The 25-year U.S. resident said he has visible proof that the couple had a genuine marriage.
It sounds crazy, especially since Scotton is representing himself after disagreeing with a succession of six defense lawyers. But it’s still up in the air whether the evidence will be allowed.
Scotton’s desire to show jurors visual depictions of the more intimate side of the couple’s relationship caused the judge to schedule a court hearing Wednesday to view the footage and photos and decide if it would be legally appropriate.
The judge told Scotton she wasn’t going to just “play that stuff in front of the jury and see what’s on there” without vetting it.
“I don’t think that it would be fair to your wife,” Rosenbaum told Scotton, explaining she needs to ensure that he gets a fair trial without unnecessarily violating his wife’s privacy or introducing irrelevant matters.
“Why is the privacy of my wife important at this point?” Scotton asked the judge. “I’m facing jail time.”
The trial officially began on Thursday. The judge has yet to make a ruling on the sex tapes and intimate photographs.