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Adult book store closes; records show taxes owed

Portsmouth, New Hampshire – from www.seacoastonline.com – PORTSMOUTH – One of the city’s three adult book stores has closed while owing back taxes and “not in good standing” with the Secretary of State’s office.

A sign on the front door of Spaulding Book & Video says “closed,” a phone number assigned to the business is disconnected and according to the city tax office, the business owes $3,764 in back property taxes. Police Capt. Mike Schwartz said Spaulding Book & Video recently closed, but the closure had nothing to do with his department. Efforts to reach the owner were unsuccessful.

According to city assessing records, the 80 Spaulding Turnpike property is valued at $432,700 and is owned by Rayson Property Managment LLC. Secretary of State reports filed by Rayson Property Management since the corporation’s formation in 2001 list only one agent, Vincent St. Louis Jr. of Dover. In his filings with the Secretary of State’s office, St. Louis says the corporation was formed for the purpose of “real estate property management”

The Secretary of State’s office lists Rayson Property Management as “not in good standing” with the state.

In 1995, Spaulding Book & Video was brought to court by the owner of an adjacent bridal shop which has since relocated. Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh oversaw an agreement between the neighboring businesses which stipulated that the adult store would limit the number of video viewing booths to 14 and keep the parking lot clean.

Viewing booths were removed from all three of the city’s adult stores in 2008 after the city health inspector reportedly found violations of city ordinance regulating them. Online postings suggested the booths were sometimes used for sexual encounters. City attorney Bob Sullivan said at the time that the ordinance required the viewing booths to be well lit, clean, have no holes in the walls and be visible from all common areas of the stores.

“The ordinance is intended to protect public health,” he said. “These have proven to be places where there is anonymous sexual activity and indiscriminate dispersal of bodily fluids. By requiring the booths to be lighted and visible from common areas of the business, the theory is that anonymous sexual activity will decrease.”

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