After three months in jail, a man who spent the night in a coffin in New York City’s East Village was released from prison last week.
On Wednesday, Michael G. Kincaid, 38, pleaded guilty to charges of possessing child pornography and child pornography related to his involvement with an online community of dancewear enthusiasts.
He will serve a total of 20 years in prison, according to New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
Kincaid’s lawyer, James Bower, said he will appeal the decision.
He said Kincays wife, Lisa, and children would not be affected by the decision, but the family is still looking into whether he should be released from jail.
“There’s a real sense of relief that this person who has done so much for the arts is out of jail,” Bower said.
The decision to release Kincay was made by Manhattan District Attorney Richard Brown.
Brown has already announced that the state is looking into possible civil rights lawsuits.
“As a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, a social worker, and a member of the community, I’m deeply concerned about this man’s treatment of a child,” Brown said.
“I am determined to bring justice to the defendant, but at the same time, I want to see that he is held accountable for his actions.”
Kincay, who is African American, said the community was a source of inspiration for him.
“I was not going to live like this,” he said in a video interview released by the New York Public Library.
“It just was not me.
It just wasn’t me.
I needed something to help me through the dark times.”
Kinship between dancewear and sex was not unheard of in New Yorkers in the 1970s and 80s, said Jennifer Traviss, a professor of sociology at the University of Rochester.
“That was something that was in the culture of New York,” she said.
“The word was ‘dance,'” she said, referring to a popular dance-wear style popularized by the Harlem Renaissance.
“So you saw it everywhere.
You were part of the dance.
And if you wanted to have sex, you were part in it.””
People would have sex in the streets,” she added.
“People were getting married, and they would be wearing dance dresses, and it was kind of taboo to have sexual intercourse.”
“So it’s not surprising that there was this kind of stigma around dance,” she continued.
“It was an art form, and people would be interested in what was going on and what was happening.”
In the 1990s, Kincaying’s music videos and photos, including a photo of himself wearing a tuxedo, made him the poster child for the Harlem renaissance.
He became a pop icon.
“When he was on the rise, there were a lot of things that were happening, but he was not one of them,” Travison said.