Peterson Got Porn TV Once Laci Disappeared

Peterson Got Porn TV Once Laci Disappeared
AL GOLUB/EPA/Landov

08/04/2004 08:05AM

Scott Peterson's TV-watching habits changed abruptly after his wife Laci disappeared, and then changed again when police raided his house, according to witness testimony in the double-murder trial on Tuesday.

A satellite TV employee testified that 15 days after Laci went missing, Scott began ordering programming that his pregnant wife was said not to have approved of: explicit adult material, starting with the Playboy Channel and graduating to more hardcore attractions.

When Peterson became aware that a team of investigators were being sent to his home on Feb. 18, however, he abruptly cancelled the X-rated satellite channel right in front of the eyes of one of the cops in the house, a member of the Sacramento Valley crime task force testified.

"The prosecution is trying to show that once Laci was gone, Scott felt he could do whatever he wanted to do," former Alameda County, Calif., prosecutor Michael Cardoza tells PEOPLE, adding that the prosecution's tactic could work by disaffecting morally conservative jurors against Peterson. "Sex addicts are never sympathetic," he said.

The testimony of Don Toy, a representative of Dish Network, is another step in the prosecution's efforts to show that Peterson, 31, was a sex addict who not only was obsessed with his mistress, massage therapist Amber Frey, but also was sexually obsessed with pornography.

Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos, strongly objected to allowing jurors to hear Toy's testimony because, he said, it is not "relevant" to the case.

"All it would do is inflame the jury and assassinate his character," Geragos unsuccessfully argued as Judge Alfred Delucchi refused to strike Toy's testimony from the record.

Geragos also argued that there was no evidence that Laci Peterson would have objected to the adult programming because on March 13, 2002, she had ordered an HBO package that contained soft-core adult programming channels.

While the Toy's testimony about why Peterson dropped the satellite service – moving overseas – appeared to catch the former fertilizer salesman in a lie, Geragos got the Dish representative to admit that his company employs heavy bargaining tactics to persuade customers not to drop the service.

Laci Peterson disappeared around Christmas Eve 2002. Prosecutors contend that her husband murdered her in their home and then dumped her body into San Francisco Bay. Scott Peterson has pleaded not guilty.

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