Lawsuits Call for More Security at 3 Sex Shops

Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles city attorney Monday filed lawsuits to force the owners of three Le Sex Shoppes in the San Fernando Valley, where there have been more than a hundred arrests for lewd conduct over the last three years, to increase security.

“The activity at these establishments . . . made them problem spots in the neighborhoods where they’re located,” City Atty. James K. Hahn said. “We’ve attempted to get the operators to take self-abatement action, but the problems have gotten worse.”

133 Arrests

The businesses are at 12323 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, where police have made 24 lewd conduct arrests since February, 1986; 4877 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, with 64 arrests since February, 1987, and 21625 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, with 45 arrests since November, 1987, Hahn said.


Under the state’s nuisance abatement law, the city attorney can seek a court order to require a property owner to prevent criminal problems from recurring. Hahn is seeking to require the owners of the Le Sex Shoppes to increase lighting inside and outside the establishments, to hire uniformed security guards to patrol the premises and to install closed-circuit television systems to allow shop employees to monitor all areas of the business, including the interiors of booths used by patrons to view adult films.

No date has been scheduled for a hearing on the lawsuits.

Randy Garrou, an attorney for Erotic Words and Pictures, Inc., which operates the Le Sex Shoppes, blamed problems at the shops on a city ordinance requiring the removal of doors on the booths used to view films.

Return of Doors

“The stores do not condone this sort of activity, and they will take whatever steps necessary to prevent it,” he said. “But the most effective step would be for the city to allow them to put the doors back on. If there are doors on these booths guaranteeing privacy of everyone there. . . there is nothing that will offend any person.”

The lawsuits came as the City Council is expected on Wednesday to order closing Studio City’s Le Sex Shoppe under a 1986 city ordinance requiring sexually oriented establishments to move by March, 1988, if they are closer than 500 feet to homes. An attorney for Le Sex Shoppe has vowed to challenge the constitutionality of the law in court.