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Adult World Owners Face Obscenity Hearing

Pocola, Arkansas- The owners of a sexually oriented business in Pocola are scheduled for a probable-cause hearing in LeFlore County District Court in Poteau after being charged in connection with a raid on their business last May, a county prosecutor confirmed Friday.

Adult World owners Don Philpot, 59, of Rockholds, Ky., and Wayne Philpot, age not listed, of Sanford, Fla., and their business, P & P Entertainment, were each charged with two felony counts of selling or possessing obscene material for sale and one misdemeanor count of maintaining a building to allow others to commit lewd acts.

LeFlore County Assistant District Attorney Margaret S. Nicholson said the Philpots and their business also each face a civil injunction case in connection with the criminal case.

She said the Philpots voluntarily surrendered to authorities and were released on $5,000 bond each.

The charges arose from a raid of Adult World, 3104 Service Road, after an intensive undercover investigation. Officers of the Pocola, Panama and Spiro police departments and the district attorney’s office posed as customers, later reporting they bought obscene materials or were approached for illicit sex.

Nicholson said the materials — five DVDs allegedly sold to undercover officers in two separate incidents — were adjudicated as obscene by Associate District Judge Ted Knight. State law requires the adjudication step before the search warrant could be issued, and it forms the basis for the felony charges against the Philpots as well, Nicholson explained.

During the raid, Pocola Police Chief Eric Helms reported agents seized more than 10,000 separate items of evidence, which all had to be inventoried before being turned over to prosecutors.

Some three months after the raid, the district attorney’s office filed charges against 23 suspects out of the 43 who were briefly detained.

Four men were charged with felony sexual battery. Records indicated they allegedly tried to entice an undercover officer into having sex or touched an undercover officer inappropriately.

The remaining 19 faced misdemeanor charges of engaging in lewdness, inducing or enticing another to commit an act of lewdness or soliciting prostitution, according to court records.

Nicholson said the probable-cause hearing, at which the judge will determine whether a jury trial should be set, is scheduled for May 1.

If convicted of the felony charges, the Philpots face up to 10 years in prison and/or up to $20,000 in fines for each count. They face up to one year in prison and/or up to $2,500 in fines if convicted of the misdemeanor.

P & P Entertainment faces civil a possible fine of up to $100,000, revocation of its articles of incorporation and injunctions against whatever activities the judge declares prohibited, Nicholson said.

She said the charges against the Philpots and their business are the last she expects to arise from the Adult World raid.

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