Last edited: January 07, 2005

Police Find 17 Sex Toys in Local Woman’s Car During DUI Traffic Stop

Longview News-Journal, November 21, 2002

By John Lynch

WHITE OAK, TEXAS—A Longview woman who sells sex toys has been charged with felony obscenity after White Oak police found some of her wares in her car during a traffic stop

The arrest report describes the 17 items as “obscene materials and obscene devices,” but Police Chief Charlie Smith said the items were mostly lotions and objects defined in a dictionary as having the shape and often the appearance of the male genitalia, used in sexual stimulation.

How illegal is that? Prosecutors will have to decide when White Oak investigators forward their findings to the district attorney’s office sometime in the next week, Smith said.

“We’ll see what they do with it,” Smith said.

Kathleen Elizabeth “Kathy” Grubbs, a distributor for the national company Slumber Parties Inc., calls the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail, “kind of ridiculous.”

State law appears a little less forgiving: It’s illegal to “wholesale promote” obscene materials or devices. Texas statute says an obscene device is a simulated sexual organ or an item designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs. The law allows investigators to assume that anyone with six or more of the items is intending to promote them.

In April, Kilgore police raided the Adult Book Store/Video Store at 1907 Industrial Blvd., seizing 12 large trash bags full of devices police said were being sold illegally. The raid came after an undercover officer visited the shop twice before the raid, making at least one purchase. An 11-page inventory compiled by police estimated the materials were worth $19,082. The sexual devices on the 11-page inventory ranged in price from a “Climax Band” that sold for $5.95 to a “Wild and Crazy Tickler” for $11.95; a “Hyper Sonic G” for $69.95; a “Plush Playmate” for $89.95; and a “Cyber Sexploration Kit” for $44.95.

The store owner, Robert Duggan III, was never arrested, but he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of obscene display, a charge equivalent to a traffic ticket, and agreed to pay a fine and let police destroy the items.

Grubbs, 47, said she has been selling the items for about two months as a distributor for Slumber Parties Inc., a national sex toy party business that operates out of Ohio and Louisiana.

Slumber Parties is where the Tupperware party meets Victoria’s Secret, the company says on its Web site. The distributors host women-only parties in private homes to show off their merchandise. Grubbs stresses the parties are only for adults, meaning no one allowed under age 18, and men are definitely prohibited.

“Believe it or not, there’s a lot of women who go to these parties,” Grubbs said. “It’s very popular.”

Company officials did not return a call Wednesday, but Slumber Parties claims its network of distributors sold $15 million in “romance-enriching” products, including lotions, powders, lingerie and private bedroom accessories, with prices ranging from $2.50 to $139. Sales this year are expected to reach $20 million.

The seizure of the items occured during a traffic stop on Texas 42 on Old Highway 80 in White Oak at 10:27 p.m. Monday. Police stopped Grubbs’ truck after seeing her driving erratically, an arrest report said. She failed or refused to perform field sobriety tests and was charged with driving while intoxicated, and a breath test showed she had blood-alcohol levels of 0.228 percent and 0.22 percent, the report said.

Police searching her truck after the arrest found the box of erotic items. The White Oak police chief said investigators are used to finding drugs and guns, but sex toys are the first in his 22 years of experience.

“There’s no telling what you’ll find on one of these stops,” Smith said.

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