Kansas Grand Jury Indicts at Least 6 Stores

WICHITA, Kan. — A Kansas grand jury has handed down obscenity indictments against at least six adult book and video stores in the state.

Attorney Charlie O’Hara told XBIZ that six of the stores he represents in Wichita and Topeka are facing charges. The Wichita stores, which include Circle Cinema and two After Dark locations, were indicted several weeks ago. The Topeka stores, indicted late Tuesday, include Sinsations, Adult Entertainment Center and one After Dark location.

O’Hara said three additional Topeka stores that he does not represent may have been indicted, but he was unable to confirm whether other stores are named because he has not yet received relevant documents from the district attorney’s office.

XBIZ was unable to reach a spokesman for the Shawnee County District Attorney, which includes Topeka.

O’Hara said the Wichita indictment cites magazines, videos and toys. Only corporations, as opposed to store owners or employees, are named as defendants. O’Hara appeared in court two weeks ago on his clients’ behalf to demand a jury trial. His request was granted, though a trail date has not been set. He said he also will demand a jury trial for the Topeka defendants.

“Obscene pornography is, in my opinion, always in the eye of the beholder,” O’Hara told XBIZ. “I think most people would be against obscenity — if they only knew what it was. That’s the case here: What is obscene?”

O’Hara said he expects the trials to be interesting because “there are a lot of things that might come up,” such as the city’s ownership of a hotel that offers adult movies on pay-per-view.

While the respective district attorneys for each county are pursuing cases against the stores, a private group called Operation Southwind led the petition drives that led to grand jury investigations. A woman named Jan Beemer spearheaded much of the effort to convene the grand juries. Earlier this month, Beemer won the Republican primary for a seat in the state House of Representatives.

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