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Soft porno is made in the high school swimming pool

Jun 15, 2000
By Anna Pridanova

RIGA - Riga Draudzina high school director Maris Sika is to be
reprimanded for not controling his deputy, Peteris Naglis, who failed
to sign a contract and collect rent on use of the school's swimming
pool for "sport art photos" to be made on April 30.

The fact that this art turned to be a soft porno, showing several
girls, two of which were identified as underage by a parent will not
be taken into account in applying the penalty, because both the
school's principal and deputy were not aware of the kind of filming
to occur on April 30.

The Riga School Board's investigative commission concluded on June 8
the principal and deputy directors were to be reprimanded for rule
violations.

Sika says he knew nothing about the incident.

Naglis said he was misled on the nature of films and regrets his
deeds, according to Liga Rimsevica, the spokeswoman for the Riga
School Board, conducting an interior investigation with Riga City
Council.

Janis Gulbis, the head of the Riga Children's Rights Protection
Center, is concerned with underage involvement in the porno
production and sent a request to the Prosecutor General's Office.

Dzintra Subrovska, the spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General's
Office confirmed the letter by Gulbis was received on June 13 and
will be reviewed. But she "does not know," she said, how much time
this review will take or how much time a review usually consumes.

The soft porno was produced by Latvian photographer Ralf Vulis and
broadcasted at the German RTL channel (translated in Latvian through
cable networks) in mid-May on the sex show "Peep."

On June 4, on Saturday evening's news show, Latvian Independent TV
aired a tape on use of the school swimming pool in porno production.
On the same day, the Riga School Board head Guntis Helmanis required
explanations from Sika on the phone, and on the next day started the
internal service investigation.

The joint investigative commission said the pool's rental was not
coordinated with the school's principal director Sika.

"This is his major failure, that he did not know about pool's rental.
But since he is connected indirectly with this case, we decided to
reprimand him and order him to set tighter control over
subordinates," said Rimsevica.

"For now it is not yet clear what punishment will be applied to
Naglis, for it is in Sika's competence, and he is to report on this
case on June 14," said Zigrida Kozlovska, the head of the Riga Center
District School Board.

No prior infractions

"It would not be rational to fire Naglis, because he is a very good
worker and this was his first false step, as well as Sika's," said
Rimsevica.

According to her, Naglis received a fax in February 1999, with the
request from the photographer, Vulis. The fax stated Vulis studio
would make "art sport pictures for the photography exhibition. For
its cooperation, the school will receive pictures for interior
decoration... The pool will be used in the film-making process, and
no violations of laws will be allowed."

Although the fax was addressed to Sika, Naglis did not deliver it to
him, did not sign any contract and did not ensure that someone from
the pool's technical assistant would be present during the filming.

Naglis committed six disciplinary violations, and on the basis of one
of them, he could be even fired, said Gulbis.


Father sees daughter on TV

The day after the news cast, a man called the Children's Rights
Protection Center's confidential hotline and said he saw his
daughter, 15, in this "pool" item on ITV. He also identified another
girl, 17, as his daughter's friend. He asked the center to inform
the prosecutor's office about it.

"It was not an anonymous phone call. The man left us his phone number
and address. We have verified this information, and it fits the real
person's coordinates," said Gulbis.

The information about the phone call was also reported to the Riga
City Council inner service investigation on June 13 to launch the
prosecution against Vulis, who involved underaged girls in
pornography production.

Vulis recruited the models for films on Riga streets. He did not know
some of them were underage and did not ask them to show documents.

"According to the pool's rules for use, you have to have a medical
statement, confirming your health. If Vulis would have asked them to
furnish a medical statement, he would have seen their ages, as the
passport data includes it," said Gulbis.

"I would like to see what the prosecutor's office will do. I know
what will happen to Vulis. He will say he did not know [as he already
did to Latvian media] and other tales. Unfortunately, it will not be
as in Soviet times, when ignorance did not free one from
responsibility.

"We have no state. Because in the state there is the power of law and
the order. But we have no order. No institution has control over the
prosecutors office and state police, no one can verify whether they
work as they should for the taxpayers' money," he said.

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