Houston Clerk Cleared of Obscenity Charge

Another attempt by Texas lawmakers to brand an adult clerk with a charge of illegally pandering obscenity has been thwarted, according to Houston news sources.

Jose Escalante, a worker at the Adult Video Megaplex, was found not guilty Wednesday of possessing adult toys with the intent to promote and sell them. Escalante was arrested June 9 during a raid on the store, and faced a $4,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

“He's simply a clerk at the store,” Escalante's attorney, Richard Kuniansky, said, “and the vice squad went in a arrested a clerk for possession with intent to distribute obscene devices. It's aburd.”

Prosecutors said that anyone caught in possession of six or more adult toys deemed obscene by the law is presumed to be promoting them, and claimed that Escalante was a store manager, not just a clerk as he said, and therefore was in possession of all the products being sold in the store.

An officer who testified Tuesday defined an adult toy as obscene if it is in a package advertising that it is designed to be used in a sexual act. Many of the toys not seized during the raid are advertised as massagers.

Said Kuniansky, “These devices are for sale all over town, at passion parties, and some of the establishments do put on the devices that it is intended for novelty only. In my opinion, that means nothing.”