Federal regulators are attempting to hit a Virginia television station with the maximum $325,000 fine for broadcasting “extremely graphic and explicit sexual material.”
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), CBS affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Va., included an image of a hand stroking an erect penis during a 2012 evening news report about a former porn star who had joined a local volunteer rescue squad.
The charges are the first action the FCC has taken against a TV station for indecency since 2008.
“Our action here sends a clear signal that there are severe consequences for TV stations that air sexually explicit images when children are likely to be watching,” Travis LeBlanc, the head of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, said in a statement.
The TV station has asserted that the image was “extremely fleeting and partial” and was unintentionally added to the newscast.