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Court Sides With Adult Stores In Dispute With Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — from www.theindychannel.com – A federal appeals court has ruled against the city of Indianapolis in a dispute with several adult stores over hours and services.

Four adult stores sued the city in 2003 claiming that an ordinance preventing the businesses from operating overnight and on Sundays violated the 1st Amendment, 6News’ Tanya Spencer reported.

The 7th District Court of Appeals ruled that the city has failed to show any evidence that more crimes occur at adult entertainment businesses than at any other adult business, and that more crimes occur after midnight or on Sundays.

“Obviously, we’re gratified that the courts ultimately recognized the correctness of our position,” said attorney for the businesses Richard Kammen.

But community and church leaders, who pushed for the ordinance to begin with, said more access to the wares of the adult stores, including pornography, will only hurt Indianapolis families.

“Any extension of hours is just an opportunity to create a deeper pattern of addiction,” said Rev. Reggie Lee, whose Wesley United Methodist church is two blocks from an adult store. “The more that the drug is available, the more it’s used, the more it’s abused and, ultimately, the more peoples’ tolerance levels increase, and so there’s just no good that can come of it.”

Some local residents also said they believe the restrictions are appropriate.

“I don’t understand the need, why they need to be open that many hours,” said Bill Grant.

But without a direct connection between adult stores and crime, Kammen said he doesn’t believe that the city will win an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“There’s no evidence that they have the corrosive effects that people popularly think,” he said.

If the ruling stands, the adult stores would also be allowed to provide private booths or stalls where patrons could view movies, although those changes will likely be more than a year away.

City officials had not indicated Sunday if they were considering an appeal.

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