Starship obscenity hearing set for Aug. 5

by SARAH FAY CAMPBELL

The hearing on Starships’ alleged violation of Coweta County’s obscenity ordinance has been scheduled for Aug. 5 in Coweta Magistrate Court. 

The hearing was originally scheduled for June 17 but was postponed because Starship attorney Allen Begner was having surgery. 

The store, which sells “gifts and novelties for couples” was issued the citation on May 17 for violating the prohibition on the sale of sexual toys.

According to Coweta County officials, the Code Enforcement Department investigated and issued the citation after the county received several citizen complaints. 

The hearing will be held before Chief Magistrate Judge James Stripling. 

Stripling can rule from the bench at the end of the hearing or issue an order later. It depends on several factors in the case, according to court officials. 

Under Coweta County’s obscenity ordinance, it is unlawful “for any person to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs” for any thing of monetary value.

Begner said in May that Starship would be pleading not guilty to the ordinance violation. 

Under the ordinance, it is an “affirmative defense” if the sale, etc. is done for a “bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial, or law enforcement purpose,” he said.

Additionally, the criminal provisions don’t apply to “bona fide public libraries, or public school or college or university libraries, or their employees or agents acting on behalf of the legitimate educational purposes of such public libraries, or public school or college or university libraries.”

The store only carries the items for those authorized purposes, according to Begner. There are signs in the store stating that they are only to be sold or bought for medical, educational or scientific uses. 

Sexual devices are recommended by the FDA for women who suffer from urinary incontinence and similar problems, according Begner. They are recommended by marriage counselors for medical use for couples who have problems with inorgasmia, and some sexual devices can even help men with spinal cord injuries father children, Begner said. 

Begner said in late May that he hopes the judge “will find that we haven’t violated the ordinance. Because we tried not to.”




More Local

Sleep walking rape trial continues

Three witnesses were called to testify in Monday afternoon’s session of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray, 29, accused of rape after an ... Read More


County Commission meets tonight at 6

Minor changes to the retirement plan for county employees are on the agenda for tonight’s meeting of the Coweta County Board of Commis ... Read More


Georgia partisans feud over voter registration

ATLANTA (AP) — Amid a scramble for political supremacy in rapidly changing Georgia, Democrats and Republicans are pointing fingers ove ... Read More


Two men found dead in double homicide

Two men were found dead in an apparent double homicide on Monday afternoon.  The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office responded to a ca ... Read More


Traffic re-routed on Jackson Street

Traffic is being rerouted on Jackson Street around the University of West Georgia project in downtown Newnan. The section of Jackson Street ... Read More

WHO: Nigeria's Ebola outbreak is officially over

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The World Health Organization declared on Monday that Nigeria is free of Ebola, a rare victory in the months-lon ... Read More