N.Y. Authorities Arrest, Fine Storeowners for Porn Placement

Anne Winter
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — Authorities have arrested four people and fined owners of more than a dozen convenience stores in Nassau County for openly displaying adult material on shelves accessible to minors and allowing them to purchase it.

The investigation followed several local complaints filed with the police department. Residents were upset that in some stores, adult magazines were shelved in plain view of shoppers coming in for groceries, according to a statement from the Office of Consumer Affairs.

One complaint stated a storeowner sold a 15-year-old boy an adult magazine, despite the fact that the clerk was informed of the boy's age.

"There will be zero tolerance for convenience stores that sell so-called 'adult material' to the children of Nassau County," Consumer Affairs Commissioner Roger C. Bogsted said. "This is a very important issue, and we will not allow unscrupulous store owners to place our kids in jeopardy."

County law states that adult materials must be clearly marked as such and displayed inconspicuously, out of view of minors, Bogsted said.

"If the Nassau businesses were violating lawful ordinances that regulate the access of adult-oriented entertainment, then they deserve to be fined for those violations," adult industry attorney Lawrence Walters told XBIZ.

Violating storeowners were fined more than $9,000.

Bogsted said he now considers this is "clearly a problem" and will continue investigating convenience stores in other areas on the island.