Kansas Grand Jury Drops Obscenity Charges

Anne Winter
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A business indicted for obscenity last month has been cleared of charges in Johnson County District Court after the district attorney's office signed an order to dismiss the case.

Spirit Halloween, a nationwide chain affiliated with Spencer Gifts stores, was charged with four counts of obscenity Sept. 26 for selling four adult costumes that allegedly were harmful to minors.

This indictment was one of three that were the result of a citizen's petition initiated in July by the Kansas City chapter of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families to investigate adult businesses of promoting obscenity.

Defense attorney Tyler Garretson told the Kansas City Star that he was surprised when he received a copy of the indictment and immediately worked with Spirit Halloween to correct the problem.

“We immediately took our own steps … and removed the costumes that were complained of and put them in a separated back portion of the store," Garretson said. "We’ve kind of corrected whatever the perceived problem was through our own actions and once we were able to demonstrate that to the district attorney’s office they agreed to dismiss the indictment against us.”

Obscenity indictments on the other two stores still stand — Hollywood at Home and Priscilla's — both for “unlawfully and knowingly or recklessly” possessing and intending to sell allegedly obscene DVDs. The business owners are expected to appear in court today.