Anti-Porn Groups Push for Grand Jury Investigation

Matt O'Conner
TOPEKA, Kan. — An anti-porn crusader who successfully led drives for grand jury investigations of adult video stores in Wichita, Abilene and Ellsworth is now launching a battle against stores in Topeka.

Phillip Crosby’s efforts have resulted in indictments against a number of Kansas stores. In 2004, he convinced prosecutors to file obscenity charges against an Abilene Lion’s Den Store. Last year, he helped bring an indictment against one of two Wichita-based Priscilla’s stores. In fact, Cosby has been successful in all but one city, Selina. He often ties adult entertainment to crimes such as rape and pedophilia in his petitions.

Cosby has teamed with Paul Barnes, president of Topeka Evangelical Area Ministries, to file the petition in Topeka requesting an investigation to determine whether stores in the city are violating Kansas obscenity laws.

“Kansas law is specific on things that should not be offered for sale,” Barnes said. “We believe there are several stores in town that have broken the law.”

Volunteers collected more than 3,300 signatures, mostly at churches. Only 1,360 registered voters are necessary to convene a grand jury.

The city is home to 13 adult businesses, but only four stores are cited in the request: Adult Entertainment Center, After Dark Video, Priscilla’s and Sinsations. The other businesses, mostly dance clubs, are not off the hook, however, as Barnes said he plans to file additional petitions against them.

He said they did not place all of the stores on a single petition because the court still has the discretion to reject the request within 60 days of the filing.

“We didn't put all the eggs in one basket,” he said. “We are going to go after them all, but in a measured sense. We’ve got a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C and a Plan D.”