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Coyotes Show Club Closed Due To Pressure From Community, End Porn Organization

Pennsylvania- Coyotes Show Club in Milford Township closed its doors Feb. 7 after a year of poor business and legal pressure by the community and The King’s Men (TKM), an Oreland-based men’s organization dedicated to ending pornography.

Univest Bank assumed the mortgage of the sexually oriented business at a sheriff sale Friday. This followed the business’ filing of bankruptcy a month before.

In a legal memorandum of law filed in March 2008, TKM told the Milford Township Board of Supervisors that a permit must be denied to the Barnett Food Group, LLC trading as Coyotes Show Club. TKM alleged that Coyotes violated Pennsylvania’s so-called BYOB law, Title 18 Pa. C.S.A. Section 7329. According to the law “any lewd, immoral, or improper entertainment” is prohibited at Pennsylvania bottle clubs.

The Barnett Food Group previously had two other restaurants at the same location that failed. When it applied for the permit to create a new restaurant, it originally told the township it would be a sports bar. Community members became suspicious when they saw the windows boarded up and poles carried into the building.

Kim Detwiler, vice president and director of corporate communications for Univest, said the bank originally partnered with DMMW real estate when Barnett Food Group opened its first restaurant Lacey’s Pub in 2004. The bank was not involved with the company’s decision to open a strip club, Ms. Detwiler said; “We did not knowingly lend money to that establishment.”

“We are securing the property and reviewing our options,” Ms. Detwiler said of the bank’s involvement since the sheriff sale. She said selling the establishment to another sexually oriented business “is not an option; that business does not align with Univest’s core values.”

With attorney Patrick Trueman, TKM advised the Milford Township Board of Supervisors to place 34 conditions on Coyotes “in an effort to limit the secondary effects of a sexually oriented business in the community,” according to a TKM press release. Glenn McGogney, shareholder and attorney for Coyotes, appealed the licensing conditions while for the last nine months, Coyotes refused to comply with the BYOB law.

Rather than use taxpayers’ money to follow through with a lawsuit, the township looked at the business owner’s history and let fate take its course. Coyotes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January when it was first scheduled for a sheriff sale, giving it 30 days to find a lender.

When no one offered to help the restaurant pay its $70,000 deficit, a sheriff sale was inevitable.

In addition to TKM, Quakertown Ministerium, an association of more than two dozen churches, and David and Connie Gahman, who own property near Coyotes, were influential in protesting the business. State Rep. Paul Clymer, R-145th, of Bucks County, and Randall Wenger, Esq. of the Independence Law Center and the network of the PA Family Institute also supported the efforts.

As a result of its “victory,” TKM will create a documentary of its protests to show others how to close strip clubs in their towns. Anthony Buono, founder of the Catholic dating Web site Ave Maria Singles, would partner with TKM to make the documentary. Damian Wargo, director of operations for TKM, said marketing of the film is not yet organized, but it may be sold as a DVD and clips may be posted on TKM’s Web site, www.thekingsmen.us.

The closing of Coyotes Show Club “gives us confidence moving forward that it is possible to shut down a sexually oriented business,” Mr. Wargo said. “We learned a lot from this process: from a legal standpoint, to organizing people to get out there and from a prayer standpoint as to how to conduct ourselves appropriately, how to protest.”

Mark Houck, president of TKM, recognized the community involvement in closing the establishment. He noted that residents of Milford Township “came out in great numbers for the judicial hearings” and “really stepped up and boycotted this place.”

“This is a victory of morality in the community,” Mr. Houck added.

Mr. Wargo noted that during one of the monthly protests a passer-by commented, “Do you really think that you can shut this place down? People don’t care.”

Referencing the hundreds of people who were involved in protests over the year against Coyotes, Mr. Wargo said, “People do care; people do not want these clubs in their neighborhood. I believe that moving forward this is going to generate a lot of enthusiasm for activism.”

Messrs. Houck and Wargo offered “consultation for like minded organizations attempting to rid their community from the multi-billion dollar pornography industry” by listing their phone numbers in a press release on their Web site.

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