Lucas Babin is the district attorney of Tyler County, Texas, and a former actor and fashion model. Babin announced in a press release on October 6 that Netflix has been indicted by a grand jury on criminal charges connected to the controversial movie Cuties. Babin, 41, was elected to the prosecutor’s seat in 2018 and is the. son of Republican Congressman Brian Babin.
Babin said in the October 6 press release from the Tyler County District Attorney’s Office that a grand jury indicted Netflix Inc. on a charge of promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child. The grand jury’s indictment was handed down September 3, and Netflix was served with a summons as a corporation by the Texas Rangers on October 1.
According to the Texas Tribune, a corporation convicted of a state jail felony like the charge Netflix was indicted on can face a fine of up to $20,000. The Tribune reports Netflix could also face penalties of twice the amount the company earned if it is found the corporation benefited financially from a crime. No one at Netflix would face prison time as a result of the charge against the company.
Cuties, which has a TV-MA rating and does not contain nudity, is a French film about an 11-year-old girl who joins a dance team. While the film has faced major criticism on social media from people accusing it of sexualizing young girls, director Maïmouna Doucouré told Time, “For me, this film is sounding an alarm. This film tries to show that our children should have the time to be children, and we as adults should protect their innocence and keep them innocent as long as possible.” Netflix has stood by the film.
Here’s what you need to know about Lucas Babin and the Netflix indictment:
1. Babin Said His Job Is to ‘See That Justice Is Done’ in the Netflix ‘Cuties’ Case
According to the press release from Babin’s office, Netflix is accused of violating Section 43.262 of the Texas Penal Code, which makes it illegal to knowingly promote visual material that depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”
Babin said in a statement, “As a district attorney, I have to sift through countless cases and make calls every day on how to keep our communities safe. In our county, it is not uncommon for me to confront cases with underage victims. After hearing about the movie Cuties and watching it, I knew there was probable cause to believe it was criminal under Section 43.262 of the Texas Penal Code.”
The film was made in France and originally distributed there before being streamed to an American audience on Netflix. The filmmaker and Netflix are not located in Texas. Tyler County located in East Texas, is home to 21,000 people, with its county seat located in Woodville.
Babin added, “The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences. If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn’t the need to prosecute more, not less? A grand jury in Tyler County found probable cause for this felony, and my job is to uphold the laws of this State and see that justice is done.”
2. Babin Graduated From the University of Houston Law School in 2014 & Worked at a Private Law Firm in East Texas Before Being Elected as District Attorney in 2018
Babin, who was an actor and model for more than 10 years, graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, according to his biography on his former law firm’s website. Babin attended the University of Houston College of Law and graduated in 2014. He practiced civil litigation in The Woodlands, Texas, after law school before joining the Law Offices of Lindsey Whisenhant in his hometown of Woodville.
“Raised in a small East Texas town, Lucas was taught the value of hard work and helping others. His desire as an attorney is to help folks stand up for themselves and hold irresponsible people and companies accountable for their actions,” the Whisenhant Law website says. At the firm, Babin pracited personal injury litigation, family law and criminal defense.
In 2018, Babin decided to run for the Tyler County District Attorney seat vacated after Lou Ann Cloy was removed from the position by a jury, KJAS reported. Cloy had been accused of not showing up for work and letting criminal cases pile up, the news station reported.
Babin won a primary election in March 2018, and faced no opposition in the November 2018 general election. He was sworn into office on January 1, 2019. Babin briefly served as an assistant district attorney in the office during the months after his primary win and before taking the lead prosecutor role.
3. Babin Is Married & Has 2 Sons With His Wife, Luciana Babin, & Has Spoke Out About His Christian Faith
Babin lives in Woodville with his. wife, Luciana Babin, and their twin sons, who are 11. In February 2020, Babin was named “Citizen of the Year” in Tyler County by the local Chamber of Commerce, according to the Tyler County Booster.
He told the newspaper, “My objective as DA is simple to do the job I was elected to do; see justice is done in Tyler County. I can’t do it alone. It’s a team effort.”
Babin is a guitarist and musician and plays in the band at his Christian congregation, Church in the Country, in Woodville. He has spoken at the church about his faith and what it means to him and his family.
4. Babin Played Spider in the Movie ‘School of Rock’ & Also Had Small Roles in ‘Brick,’ ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘CSI: Miami’ & ‘The Young & the Restless’ & Modeled for Several Top Brands
Before becoming an attorney and district attorney, Babin worked in Hollywood as an actor and model. He is likely best known for playing the character Spider in the 2003 Jack Black-led movie School of Rock. His IMDb profile shows he had several other roles during his acting career, both on TV and in movies. He appeared on CSI and CSI: Miami, in the soap opera The Young and the Restless, in the TVs series America and on Sex and the City.
As a model, Babin appeared in advertisements around the world for many top brands, including Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein, Roberto Cavalli, GAP and Louis Vuitton.
5. Babin’s Father Has Served in Congress Since 2015 & He Called ‘Cuties’ Child Pornography While Calling on U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to Bring Charges Against Netflix
Babin’s father, Brian Babin, is a dentist in Tyler County and has been serving as the representative for Texas’s 36th congressional district since 2015. Brian Babin, a Republican, joined several other GOP members of Congress in signing a letter calling for criminal charges against Netflix on a federal level over Cuties.
On September 18, the elder Babin tweeted, “Netflix’s “Cuties” clearly meets the U.S. legal definition of child pornography. It’s disturbing to see a mainstream media company promoting the sexualization of children – it shouldn’t be allowed. I‘m requesting AG Barr bring charges against @netflix for distributing this film.”
Netflix issued a statement after the indictment standing by the movie. “Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” Netflix told NBC News. “This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
The streaming giant previously apologized for advertisements for the film, saying they were not representative of the movie’s content, and amended those ads. Netflix said in a September statement, “It’s an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”
The movie is still available to be streamed on Netflix.
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