CINCINNATI (AP) _ A man was charged with trying to bribe a key prosecution witness in the obscenity case against Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his brother, and prosecutors suggested Friday that the Flynts were behind the tampering.

The witness is a boy who is expected to testify that he bought sexually explicit videos at the Flynts' bookstore when he was 14, prosecutor Joseph Deters said.

Howard Beatty, 44, offered the boy $50,000 if he would refuse to testify or change his story to favor Larry and Jimmy Flynt, Deters said. Beatty could get up to five years in prison.

Deters suggested the Flynts may have given Beatty the name of the witness. He said Beatty approached the boy and his guardian on Thursday, 10 days after prosecutors notified the Flynts of the juvenile's identity.

``Ten days later, miracle of miracles, Howard Beatty shows up and attempts to bribe this kid,'' Deters said. ``There is only one way this guy could get that name.''

The Flynt brothers and their lawyer, H. Louis Sirkin, said they had nothing to do with Beatty and no knowledge of the alleged bribery attempt.

Prosecutors said they are still investigating whether Beatty had any connection to the Flynts.

The Flynts go on trial in January. They could get up to 24 years in prison.