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Update: Grand jury indicts owner of Sturgis adult business on five misdemeanors

Sturgis, SD – from www.rapidcityjournal.com – The owner of a new adult business in Sturgis is facing jail time and fines after a Meade County grand jury decided that his store is in the wrong place.

Dick and Jane’s Naughty Spot owner David Eliason is accused of violating a state statute that limits where an adult business can be located. He is facing five misdemeanor charges, one for each day his store was open from Aug. 6-10.

After the grand jury indicted him, Eliason was arrested and later released. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance at an arraignment on Aug. 25, when he will have to enter a plea on each charge.

Eliason said he plans to keep the business at 1543 Lazelle St. open until he receives a court order saying otherwise.

“We’ll just trust that the courts will make a decision in our favor,” he said.

Eliason defended his inventory Wednesday and said that the statute is “very vague and ambiguous” in defining an adult-oriented businesses.

“We feel that the majority of our floor space, inventory and sales, consists of bachelorette products, lingerie, lotions and oils, gag gifts such as whoopee cushions and a very small selection would fall under the definitions contained in 11-12-2,” Eliason said. “11-12-2 does not ban the sale of any type of adult-oriented materials. It just states that it can’t be the principal purpose of business.”

SDCL 11-12-2 is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine, or both.

According to the Meade County State’s Attorney’s Office, the state statute prohibits adult-oriented businesses from being located within a quarter mile of “a child welfare agency, a private or public school, a public playground, a public recreation facility, a residence or a place of worship.”

The Sturgis Community Center has a parking lot that is adjacent to Dick and Jane’s parking lot.

Eliason moved his business into his current location on Aug. 2. A year ago, he attempted to open the business at 2611 Lazelle St., but the city of Sturgis declined to grant the business an occupancy permit.

Eliason challenged the decision in federal court, but his bid for an injunction against the city was denied by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken. Eliason said his new location already had an occupancy permit and he only needed a sales tax license to open the business.

The business owner said the city has offered different locations within the county for his business but most of those spots lacked proper access or utilities.

“I would never consider that,” he said of the other locations. “I would’ve preferred to be in the first location, but I was forced to find this current location, and we feel we are compliant with state law.”

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