Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cincy Alt-Paper Sues Police, Prosecutors over 'Adult' Ads

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Cincy Alt-Paper Sues Police, Prosecutors over 'Adult' Ads

Article excerpt

CityBeat, the alternative weekly in Cincinnati, is suing the city's police chief, a county sheriff, three county prosecutors, and others, claiming they are violating the paper's First Amendment rights by pressuring it to stop running "adult services" ads.

"The involvement of government officials, especially law enforcement types, presents a clear threat to our ability to run our business as we choose," CityBeat Editor and Co-Publisher John Fox told E&P.

CityBeat filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. It named more than 30 defendants, including clergymen and others affiliated with Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values (CCV), a group that opposes pornography and sex-related businesses.

In June, the group held a press conference and issued an open letter demanding that CityBeat drop its classified ads for massage parlors, escorts, and other allegedly sex-related businesses.

"There is no question that the adult classifieds of their print and online editions consist primarily of solicitations for prostitution and promotion of businesses that front for prostitution," CCV President Phil Burress said at the time.

The press conference followed raids on "spas" in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky that allegedly were running prostitution operations. Law enforcement officials at the time said many of the raided spas were advertisers in CityBeat.

And the CCV letter alleges that the paper and its Web site citybeat. …

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