By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
A brand name every one in the adult entertainment industry is familiar with, Doctor John’s, is suing the village of Cahokia for the right to open their latest brick & mortar location at 1411 Camp Jackson Road.
Doctor John’s Lingerie and Novelty Boutiques filed the lawsuit Friday Feb. 2 against the village of Cahokia alleging that the city deprived the owners of their “rights, privileges and immunities provided by the Constitution” once Cahokia city officials passed a new ordinance on “adult oriented businesses”. They also took steps to pass this ordinance only after the adult store applied for a business license to open a store at 1411 Camp Jackson Road.
When we reached out to Cahokia Mayor Curtis McCall and Cahokia city attorney Clay St. Clair for comment on this story prior to its posting, we were met with silence.
The ordinance passed “practically prohibited (Doctor John’s) from locating in any area of the city where customers may find and patronize it,” according to the lawsuit.
Attorney McCullough who is representing Doctor John Lingerie & Boutiques said..”The city, if it wants to prohibit the store from opening, has to prove the store will bring negative secondary effects — like prostitution or theft, or lower property values.” said McCullough. “People like to describe adult stores as places populated by men in trench coats who maybe go into dark corners in the back and fondle themselves and attract a bad crowd, but the people who shop at our store are a majority women and couples. Men do not come in here looking for cheap thrills. We don’t sell cheap thrills.” said McCullough.
Doctor John’s calls itself a romance store — not a sex shop or an adult bookstore or video store. “Certainly there are communities that say, ‘We don’t want this,’” said McCullough. “We say, ‘Don’t come visit us if you don’t want to.’ We aren’t going to harm you.” said McCullough.
Doctor John’s currently operates location in Wood River, the city doesn’t have an argument against the business opening there. But in other cities, ordinances have been put in place that try to force the business into the warehouse district or make it flat-out impossible to open.
“It’s a national sort of movement toward censorship,” added McCullough. “It isn’t just Doctor John’s.” McCullough argues that Doctor John’s isn’t an adult store and doesn’t bring negative effects. McCullough’s has defended Doctor John’s Lingerie and Novelty Boutiques in more than legal battles in seven cities to fight to allow Doctor John’s to open a store in each town, including a recent suit in Collinsville.
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