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Adult World owners face felony Obscenity charges

Arkansas- The owners of the two Adult World stores in Widener are facing Class D felony charges of promoting obscene material, according to information filed in the St. Francis County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

According to the filings, which were submitted to Circuit Clerk Bette Green’s office on Tuesday, Jim Philpot and Wayne Philpot, along with R.J.J.W. Enterprises, Inc., and J&W Investments, Inc., have been charged with two counts of promoting obscene material.

The charges allege that the two men in their capacity as principal incorporators of the two corporations have violated state law by selling obscene materials from the two stores located near the intersection of Hwy. 38 and Interstate 40.

The charges are the latest in a string of charges filed by Prosecutor Fletcher Long in connection with the businesses.

Employees and members of management have been arrested for selling obscene materials in the past, but the charges filed Tuesday were the first against the corporations and its owners.

“We have made cases in the past against the clerks and the manager out there, and for the last year we’ve been investigating the gentlemen who own those businesses,” said Long.

According to County Sheriff Bobby May, neither of the Philpots had been arrested as of this morning.

Long said that while he understands there are some who question the arrests, the issue ultimately comes down to a matter of law.

“I’ve heard the argument that these people are operating a business, and with the tough economic times we’re facing we should just leave them be, but my issue is with the law. If someone was operating a business which sold marijuana or methamphetamine and the times were tough, would they have a problem with it? What is being sold out there is just as illegal as marijuana and methamphetamine, and is no less against the law to promote, sell or possess,” said Long.

Long also said he intends to pursue the charges through to trial.

“That’s my full intention. We’ve made several arrests out there, and there have been several large fines which have been paid, and the message still hasn’t gotten across. There is a legal way to operate an adult business in Arkansas, but the material that is being sold out there doesn’t qualify and is considered obscene. We will prosecute this,” Long said.

Calls were made to both Adult World facilities seeking comment, but neither Jim nor Wayne Philpot were available for comment.

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