Anti-Porn Crusader Gets Signatures to Convene Kansas Grand Jury

Michael Hayes
TOPEKA, Kan. — After less than a month of collecting signatures, an anti-porn crusader now has enough names on his certified petition to compel Shawnee county officials to convene a grand jury to investigate local adult businesses.

Phillip Crosby, who is leading the coalition of Topeka area ministers against four of the 13 local adult businesses, is no stranger to anti-porn campaigns. In fact, Crosby, who often attempts to link pedophilia and sex crimes to porn, has championed successful anti-porn efforts throughout Kansas.

In the current Topeka campaign, Crosby needed 1,357 signatures from registered voters — the minimum required by state law to convene a grand jury.

According to Election Commissioner Elizabeth Ensley, officials were able to certify Crosby’s petition after reaching page 148 out of 200.

Chief Judge Nancy Parrish confirmed that the petition was of “proper legal format” and said that she would subpoena prospective grand jurors to convene in early June.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, but once convened, 12 of the 15 members must agree to issue an indictment, according to District Attorney Robert Hecht, who added that a grand jury is convened to investigate any topic.

Crosby has told supporters that he is confident that the grand jury will return an indictment and that Hecht will enforce the law.

If successful in targeting the area’s four local adult retailers, the area’s nine other adult businesses — mostly strip clubs — could face Crosby’s ire.

According to Crosby cohort Paul Barnes, president of Topeka Evangelical Area Ministries, additional petitions against other businesses should be expected.

In 2004, Crosby 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. A fight in Selina marked his only defeat.