September 01, 2006 12:00am
Grandmother Arrested Selling Dildos
Source: Free Speech X-press
by: Layne Winklebleck
(MONROE, LA) -- Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Deputies have arrested 70-year-old Alvena Johnson, owner of the Fun Depot in Monroe, an adult novelty store, on two felony counts of the promotion of obscene devices. Also arrested on four counts under the same law were Bobby and Lori Tremaine, owners of the Red Door stores in West Monroe and in the Swartz area of Quachita Parish. KNOE Channel 8 News teams were alerted in advance so they could be on hand to video Johnson and the Tremaines being escorted away in handcuffs. Must be an election coming up.
The crimes involved have to do with selling "obscene" sex toys, erotic videos, novelty items, and gag gifts, according to Assistant District Attorney Neal Johnson.
Ouachita Parish authorities started receiving complaints from neighbors after the West Monroe Red Door adult novelty shop opened up, according to Major Jay Russel of the Sheriff's office. The charges carry the possibility of between six months to three years in prison and a fine of as much as $2,500. Bond has been set at $3,500 for each count.
Is this surrealistically absurd, or what? Here we are in the Twenty-First Century, with vibrators and sex toys of all kinds almost ubiquitous in American bedrooms -- according to the 2005 Durex Global Sex Survey, 43% of Americans own vibrators used for sexual enhancement -- and on the evening news we see Sheriff's Deputies putting handcuffs on grandmothers and married couples for selling the toys.
Last year, First Amendment attorney J.D. Obenberger brought a constitutional challenge to the Louisiana obscenity law on behalf of Emmette Jacob Jr., the owner of Le Video Store in St. Martin's Parish. However, Obenberger was not successful in the challenge. In October, State Judge Charles Porter ruled that the Louisiana obscenity law was not unconstitutional by virtue of being overbroad or vague. (See X-press Report, "Community Standards Test Upheld," 10/7/05) in May, the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to hear the challenge. (See X-press report, "State High Court will not Hear Challenge," 5/12/06) Some information is from Darklady, YNOT.com, 8/25/06 See also, Melissa Clark, KNOE-TV, Channel 8 News, 8/24/06