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The Wahls Close Shop

St. Louis- In an article appearing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today, it was reported that Tom and Suzie Wahl long-time Free Speech advocates have closed up shop and are apparently moving out of the state of Missouri.

“Tom and Suzi Wahl were just trying to run a mom and pop porn store out of their Lake Saint Louis home and along came the Internet, offering quicker, cheaper and better hits of video sex,” reports the Post-Dispatch.

The article goes on to describe how The Wahls used to make money distributing sexually explicit videos. “They became celebrities in our county [St. Charles] because they stood up for their right to operate this business and also got involved in other causes that were, shall we say, just a little left of center.”

Wahl, who never met a protest he didn’t like, once dressed up like Patrick Henry several years ago to protest Citizens Against Pornography who were protesting Bargain Books which was offering sexually explicit videos and magazines.

“I talked openly and specifically about the joys of oral sex,” Wahl said. “I was not disturbing the peace. I wasn’t using a bullhorn. I was speaking, and I was arrested on the basis of my speech.”

Wahl reputedly was arrested by deputies after telling some protesters, including two 13-year-old girls, “I love oral sex. You girls should try it.”

According to Tim Braun, then the prosecuting attorney, a peace disturbance charge was leveled against Wahl because he had spoken loudly about all kinds of sexual behavior, using descriptive phrases, to provoke “an immediate and violent response from a reasonable person.”

“People brought these children to an adult video store, and they are offended at somebody talking about oral sex?” was Wahl’s rhetorical question.

Wahl was subsequently found guilty in a jury trial in October 1998 on two counts of misdemeanor peace disturbance.

After the trial, Wahl apologized. “When you make your best argument before a jury and then the jury deliberates for three hours and comes back and says you were wrong … well, I can start to accept that I was wrong.” He then apologized to the community and the victims. “Nobody should have been subjected to what I did,” he said then.

But the one case the Wahls will be best remembered for occurred when they were arrested and charged with prostitution in St. Louis County and in St. Charles County in police sting operations for giving sex seminars in a hotel room. “During this controversy, they invited members of the media to their house to witness one of their ‘seminars,’ which involved watching them have sex… They were convicted of prostitution in both cases.”

The Wahls put out a press release in that case stating, “As it stands now, Suzi Wahl is the only woman in America convicted of deviate sexual intercourse and prostitution because she had sex with her husband of 20 years. T.L. ‘Tom’ Wahl is the only man in America convicted of prostitution and deviate sexual intercourse because he had sex with his wife.”

In the most recent developments Wahl states the following: “There are a number of politicians, judges, prosecutors, police officers, developers, polluters, Realtors and church leaders who will surely be happy to see me go, as well as others from all walks of life. I would like to sincerely apologize to anyone who felt I was mean-spirited, hateful or angry – I admit to being all of those things, on occasion. But on my best days, I pursued my mission here with unconditional love. It is with unconditional love that I bid you good-bye. No matter how deep our differences, I will miss you, each and every one.”



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