Business halting city's progress

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – You could call it the tale of two cities. A bustling Clarksville with shops and dining along Veterans Parkway, but on the other side of the highway in Jeffersonville all that is just a plan.

The Jeffersonville Town Center has been under development for six years. The thought is to build something similar to the Springhurst town center in east Louisville, and while the economy has slowed progress recently there's another problem standing in the way - Theatair X.

Theatair X is technically located in Clarksville. On one side is Interstate 65, but out the front door is Highway 31, the dividing line between Clarksville and Jeffersonville.

A man named Robert didn't want us to use his last name, but says he first visited Theatair X with some friends as a senior in high school and the peep booths down a long dark hallway peaked his interest.

He said back then he was already questioning his sexuality and Theatair X - with their glory holes between peep booth walls and "anything goes policy" in the theaters - provided the opportunity to experiment. He explained, "You go in there you're able to see porn, have sex with people and walk away and go on about your business and no one else knows unless they see you pull out of the parking lot they don't know what you're doing in there."
Robert even got married, keeping his visits to Theatair x three to four times a week a secret for years.

"The guilt got to me I just couldn't go on doing that to my wife," he said. A divorce and sex addiction therapy followed, but it all came at a high cost. "What kills me is the other people involved in this they don't see my wife's tears and the pain of her having to know what her husband is doing."

Robert now lives a long way away from the bright lights of Theatair X finding solitude in simplicity.

He counsels other men addicted to sex and he knows his Theatair X story is not unique,. "One of my former jobs - I just looked out the window one day and I saw I guy I was with and saw him getting out of his car with his wife and little baby I had no idea this guy was married and had a family and I was like 'man, his wife doesn't even know," explained a former FBI agent who spent 23 years investigating sex crimes does know. He says these businesses attract trouble. "If you just investigate and seize the sexually oriented businesses all the other crimes in the area go down by about 30 percent saving the city money building up the value of the land bringing up the revenue for the city."

That's a task now in the hands of the Clarksville town council and police and their actions could impact an entire region, marriages and lives.

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