A special-effects artist charged with corrupting morals is defending his work as art.

Rémy Couture is testifying on his own behalf during a jury trial today in Montreal.

He said the horror website he ran, where he brought to life a psychopathic killer character he created, is artistic and not pornographic.

He said the sexual nature of some of the photos is secondary — and said the special effects and artistic value are what he's most interested in.

He is charged with corrupting morals through the distribution, possession and production of obscene materials in a case that explores the boundaries of artistic expression and Canadian obscenity laws.

The material in question includes hundreds of photos and a pair of videos that depict gruesome murders, torture, assaults and necrophilia — all with young female victims.

The Crown describes the material on the site, not currently online, as obscene and says it goes too far.

Couture was arrested in October 2009 and pleaded not guilty to the three charges in 2010. He has argued that the state has no business defining what art is, or infringing on his right to free expression.

A seven-woman, five-man jury is hearing the case, which is into its fifth day.