Thursday, June 26, 2003

County judge orders adult store to close



The Associated Press

EASTLAKE, Ohio - A Lake County judge has ordered an adult bookstore closed for a year, but the result may be permanent.

The Vine Street News Inc. had been in the Cleveland suburb for 30 years, but its front door was locked Tuesday. No one was available for comment.

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Richard Collins said in his ruling Tuesday that there was clear evidence of "lewdness" and "attempted prostitution" at the Vine Street News between June 2000 and October 2002.

Eastlake police Lt. Tom Doyle said the court followed state law in closing the store for one year. "This wasn't a free speech issue, this was an issue with how they conducted their business and the health nuisance to the people that went there and the people nearby," Doyle said.

Ed Walsh, an Eastlake official, said the bookstore was allowed to operate because it had opened before zoning regulations were strengthened. He said the bookstore would have to apply for a permit to reopen in the city's retail business district.

Doyle said the city did not oppose distribution of adult material.

Four Eastlake police officers previously testified that they were either groped or solicited for sex by other men while at the store.




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