Opening arguments postponed for Arizona porn studio owner

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William Hartwell's 2013 mugshot (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) William Hartwell's 2013 mugshot (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

Opening statements were postponed Tuesday at the trial of an Arizona pornography studio owner charged with operating a brothel.

The postponement was called when an attorney in the case against William James Hartwell had fallen ill.

[RELATED: Trial set for porn studio owner charged with running brothel]

Opening statements are now scheduled for Wednesday.

Hartwell denies running a prostitution ring and has accused the government of criminalizing speech protected by the First Amendment.

Authorities say prosecuting Hartwell for crimes related to prostitution was lawful.

Hartwell says he was running a legitimate business where amateurs could rent cameras, lights and props to create their own sex scenes with the help of a model.

Prosecutors say it was nothing more than a cleverly disguised brothel.

[READ: Prostitution ring detailed in court docs (June 20, 2013)]

Hartwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of operating a house of prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual assault.

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