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Porn Shot in Public Places Across South Florida

Public indecency is a misdemeanor crime in Florida. The charge can be upgraded to a felony if a child witnesses an indecent act in public

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    Porn Being Shot in Public Places Across South Florida

    Porn is being filmed in public places in South Florida outdoors during daylight hours. NBC 6 Investigators look at this new trend in online videos that some say comes at a cost to the community.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019)

    Artist Yvette Michelle spent weeks creating a wall of colorful flowers and mirrors outside her studio in Fort Lauderdale.

    "It means an awful lot to me," said Michelle.

    She created the wall of art to inspire people and to bring happiness to those who see her creation.

    She was upset to learn her art installation appeared in an online adult film that has been viewed tens of thousands of times.

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    The porn stars filmed sex acts as they were pressed up against her canvas.

    "I'm very concerned," she said. "That's really, really disturbing."

    "It hurts me as an artist and as an entrepreneur for such an act to be done on my property and I don't know what I'm going to drive up on at work," said Michelle.

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    The NBC 6 Investigators were tipped off about online porn site bangbros.com. The site uploaded more than a dozen videos over the past few months that were shot during daylight hours in front of familiar landmarks in the Fort Lauderdale area.

    One scene was shot on busy Ocean Boulevard, multiple scenes near the Dania Beach pier, another in front of a church and others on the train tracks in Fort Lauderdale.

    In some of the scenes, you can see people not involved in the film in the background.

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    "I hope their naughty things get caught by police," said Michelle.

    Public indecency is a misdemeanor crime in Florida. The charge can be upgraded to a felony if a child witnesses an indecent act in public.

    Last year Florida lawmakers passed a resolution calling pornography a "public health risk." But it did not come with any additional changes or regulations to Florida law.

    Dawn Hawkins, the Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, says public porn is a growing and profitable niche market.

    "Many who defend pornography say 'If you don't want to watch it, just don't watch it,' but here the public is being forced to watch," said Hawkins.

    According to Hawkins, Florida is becoming one of the top states in the country to shoot porn, second only to California.

    "It's not a surprise," said Hawkins. "Pornography in public has become much more common, something that individuals that habitually watch pornography are seeking more and more."

    It's an image no city leader wants and a topic they don't want to talk publicly about. Every organization the NBC 6 Investigators reached out to sent written statements in response to what's happening, declining to speak on camera about the issue.

    The Broward Film Commission told the NBC 6 Investigators no permits were filed to film outdoors, which is a local requirement. A spokesperson also said if the company had requested permits, they would not have been granted.

    The Fort Lauderdale Mayor's office said in a statement they're "on the lookout for it" and police said no one who has seen it has reported it to them. If they do, they'll investigate.

    In response to the video shot on the railroad tracks, a spokesperson for Brightline said, "Railroad tracks are private property and it is illegal and dangerous to trespass on them."

    A spokesperson for the city of Dania Beach told us, "The City is not aware of, nor does it condone illegal activity on its beach. The City has received no complaints of this activity. No permit was approved by the City."

    As for the company behind the website, the domain is registered in another country. State business records show the main office is located in an office complex in Miami-Dade County. When NBC 6 Investigators showed up, they found it was an accounting firm. A man who answered shut the door on the NBC 6 Investigators and declined to answer questions.

    A few days later, we received an email from the bangbros.com team. The email stated "We have no comment other than to advise you that the company acquires its content from unrelated third-party production companies. Additionally, the company has not worked with any South Florida producers for this site for many months."

    Meanwhile, people like Yvette hope signs like the one on her building, prohibiting commercial photography, will help keep unwanted filming away.

    "Stop, that's my word, just stop," she said.

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