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Frederick fines store over sex items

February 21, 1997

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The city of Frederick has fined a store $1,600 for selling sexually explicit merchandise without a permit.

Peep shows, video tapes and sex toys weren't part of the deal when the Lingerie Center received a permit to operate along the booming Golden Mile retail strip six months ago, licensing inspector Thomas Darner said Wednesday.

The shop, now called the Lingerie and Video Center, added the merchandise after approval, he said. Darner said shopkeepers need a special exception from the city's Board of Zoning Appeals to sell sexually explicit material.

City officials ordered the store to cease the illegal activity. If the violations persist, City Attorney Lynn Board said she could seek a court injunction to stop the sales.

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Board said she couldn't simply order the business closed because the sale of such items is protected under the First Amendment.

Store manager Beryl Wimer, asked whether he planned to close the store, answered, ``We're open now, aren't we?''

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