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Crimes Involving Sexually-Oriented Business

In Cleveland, police and prosecutors use ORC 2907.40 to regulate the hours and allowable activity in businesses where sexually-themed entertainment is provided. In particular, it orders such businesses to close between midnight and 6:00 a.m., unless the business holds a liquor license that allows longer hours. Violation of this clause is a first degree misdemeanor, the penalties for illegally operating a sexually-oriented business can result in a six-month sentence for the business’s owners and managers.

ORC 2907.40 prohibits touching between patrons of the establishment, employees, and any performer who appears nude or seminude. Violations of this section are first degree misdemeanors when the touching is of the genital, buttock, or breast area, and a fourth degree misdemeanor when the touching is of any other area. Conviction on a fourth degree misdemeanor may result in 30 days in jail. While this law can help to protect adult entertainers from aggressive patrons in Cleveland, it is often used to harass and intimidate businesses and their employees.

At Patituce & Associates, we protect business owners and make sure your employees can earn a living.

Permitting Unlawful Operation of Viewing Booths Depicting Sexual Conduct (O.R.C. 2907.38)

Permitting Unlawful Operation of Viewing Booths Depicting Sexual Conduct (ORC 2907.38) is a statute governing one aspect of the operation of commercial establishments that specialize in the sale or viewing of materials or performances depicting sexual conduct. Permitting unlawful operation of viewing booths depicting sexual conduct specifically applies to business owners, or the managers of such establishments, and essentially prohibits two things:

  1. Sealing off viewing booths by curtains or doors. Such booths must be open to a main aisle or hallway, which must be open to the public areas of the establishment.
  2. Use of booths for sexual conduct between members of the public or patrons of the establishment, Booths also may not include apertures, holes, or any other opening for the purpose of encouraging or facilitating sexual activity.

Violation of Permitting Unlawful Operation of Viewing Booths Depicting Sexual Conduct is a First Degree Misdemeanor, and the penalties for unlawful operation of a viewing booth include up to six months in jail.

Arrest for Permitting Juvenile on Premises of Adult Entertainment Establishment – Use of False Information to Gain Entry (O.R.C. 2907.39)

In Cleveland, it is illegal to allow persons under the age of 18 into adult entertainment establishments (defined in various ways in the statute, but in general as establishments where depictions of sexual activity are possessed, sold, or viewed), and illegal for persons under the age of 18 to provide false information or identification in order to gain entry to an adult entertainment establishment.

This includes for purposes of employment.

Business owners or managers who violate ORC 2907.39, Permitting Juvenile on Premises of Adult Entertainment Establishment will be charged with one First Degree Misdemeanor count for each day of violation, and face up to six months in jail for each count. Juveniles who violate ORC 2907.39, Use of False Information to Gain Entry, may be adjudicated as delinquent, and face up to 90 days in a youth detention facility as penalty for giving false information to get into an adult entertainment establishment.

In every case, these are serious charges that should be defended forcefully.

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