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adult store loses appeal

Aurora, Colorado- Christal’s, an adult video and retail bookstore in Aurora that sells and rents sexually oriented materials, can’t continue to operate because it isn’t located in an industrial zone and doesn’t have a license for a sexually oriented business, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Charles Richardson, Aurora’s city attorney, said he was pleased with the decision. Arthur Schwartz, the attorney representing Christal’s, said he was “very disappointed.”

The store was still open Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Rob Werking, an Aurora assistant city attorney, and Schwartz said that two upcoming developments could affect the appeals ruling.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on a case involving the Christal’s store in Littleton, which could affect not only the store in Aurora but similar stores nationwide, Schwartz said.

And on Monday night, the Aurora City Council will consider a settlement involving Christal’s.

Advertisement In Thursday’s ruling, the Colorado Court of Appeals said that in December 1993, a month after Christal’s began operating, Aurora enacted an ordinance restricting sexually oriented businesses to industrial zones. That Christal’s, at 15451 E. Mississippi Ave., isn’t in an industrial zone.

Schwartz attacked the Aurora ordinance as unconstitutional, claiming its definition of a sexually oriented business was overly vague. Under the definition, a sexually oriented business is one that devotes a “significant” or “substantial” portion of its stock or floor space to books and films about sexual activities or certain parts of the body.

The court Thursday said the terms aren’t vague.

Christal’s also argued that because Aurora’s ordinance failed to provide it with a prompt judicial review of license denial in municipal court, its First Amendment rights were violated.

However, the Court of Appeals said the city has changed its ordinance to require a review within 75 days, and that was reasonable.

Schwartz said the U.S. Supreme Court will rule whether stores such as Christal’s are entitled to a prompt review if their bids for licenses are denied. He said he has asked the Supreme Court to specifically say what amount of time constitutes a prompt review.

“The Colorado court says 75 days is sufficient,” Schwartz said. “Whether it is sufficient, I don’t know. It is a guess until the U.S. Supreme Court makes a ruling.”

Christal’s has been allowed to continue operating while the Court of Appeals was reviewing a decision by Arapahoe County Judge Thomas Levi that would have closed Christal’s.

As a result, Christal’s wasn’t harmed, Thursday’s opinion said.



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