Judge says law invalid in Theatair X investigation

Bryan Wickens
Bryan Wickens

By Janelle MacDonald - bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – During a 2009 investigation, our undercover cameras revealed numerous violations of a southern Indiana town's laws and we pushed local officials to act. Tuesday, a judge has declared those laws invalid.

Eight months ago, our undercover cameras went into Theatair X, an adult entertainment business in Clarksville Indiana. During the time we spent there, we saw violation after violation of Clarksville's sexually oriented businesses ordinance. Our investigation also exposed that city officials rarely enforced that ordinance.

Following our report, Clarksville town officials cited Theatair X on four violations, including having doors on the peep booths, having holes between peep booths, inadequate lighting and not having a clear line of sight from the manager's station to all areas of the store. Theatair X challenged the violations.

Tuesday, Washington County Judge Robert Bennett, a special judge ruled that Clarksville leaders did not follow the right procedure when they enacted the zoning ordinance and therefore the law was invalid. The citations were thrown out.
Bryan Wickens, president of Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana, or ROCK, says the ruling is not a defeat.

"Now what we're hopeful for, it's easy fix, is that Clarksville will huddle up, realize this is what the citizens want, it's their job to protect the community, and that they'll take those steps now, rewrite the ordinance," said Wickens. "They could do that tomorrow and then begin enforcing it."

We attempted to call Chris Sturgeon, attorney for the town of Clarksville, to see what the town's reaction to the ruling is and what the council plans to do about it. Our phone calls were not returned.

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