Jury Indicts Sex Shops in South Carolina

Gretchen Gallen
ANDERSON – Answering to protests from the community over adult-oriented businesses, a grand jury has indicted four sex shops in South Carolina for selling so-called obscene material.

The four shops, Pandora's Boxxx, Lucy's Love Shop, 4 Your Eyes Only and Paradise, have allegedly violated a state law that prohibits the sale of material that "depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct."

The state has a longstanding law that limits where adult businesses can be located, but a community uproar was recently sparked when the Pandora's Boxxx opened within Anderson's city limits.

A petition of more than 4,000 signatures was submitted to the Anderson City Council asking for an outright ban of sex shops in the state.

"This is just the beginning of what could happen in our state," said Rev. Elva Martin, who took a lead role in getting the sex shops indicted.

However, some of the sex shop owners feel the indictments signal a broad witch-hunt by conservative community leaders who want to eliminate any and all sexually oriented retail outlets as part of a religious agenda.

"How come we have licenses for years and they suddenly come out with these things?" said Ingo Stugg, owner 4 Your Eyes Only, which has operated in Anderson County for more than 10 years without a problem. "Where are we going where all these churches can tell us what we can and can't sell? We pay our taxes the same as anybody. If you don't like it, then look the other way."

According to reports, arraignments could come as early as next month.