Last edited: February 14, 2005

Prosecutor Uses Anti-Gay Sex Statute to Charge Six Men in Prostitution Case

Associated Press, March 31, 2002

HILLSBORO (AP)—Hoping to convict some adult video store patrons suspected of engaging in a prostitution ring, authorities have charged six men with having homosexual sex.

Under Missouri law, "deviate sexual intercourse with another person of the same sex" is a rarely prosecuted misdemeanor. Jefferson County prosecutor Bob Wilkins called the law "obscure."

He said that he was hesitant to use the controversial statute, criticized by gay rights advocates as homophobic. But Wilkins said that it was necessary to stamp out the "open and notorious activities" at the video store.

"It is not my intention to judge the conduct of consenting adults," Wilkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a story in yesterday’s editions. "This is not about throwing homosexuals in jail. This is about trying to prevent future conduct."

The men were arrested earlier this month in a raid on Award Video in High Ridge. Those patrons who were arrested for having sex were in the pornographic theater area of the store at the time of the raid.

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