Thursday, February 05, 2004
Is There a Constitutional Right To Promote the Use of Sex Toys?
A Texas Arrest Raises the Question
By JOANNA GROSSMAN
Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2004
Recently, Joanne Webb -- a Texas mother of three who works primarily out of her home -- advised two customers on which products they should select from the business's catalog, and on how those products worked. Then, she filled their order. The products were sex toys, and the customers said that they were a young married couple in search of some sexual regeneration. Unfortunately for Webb, however, the 'couple' turned out to be undercover police officers.
Webb was charged with a misdemeanor under Texas obscenity law -- which makes it a crime to promote a device 'designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.' If convicted, Webb could face up to a year in prison and a $4000 fine. (She would also probably lose the ability to return to her former career as a grade school teacher.)
Webb is currently awaiting trial. However, the Texas law under which she will be tried may well be struck down as unconstitutional."
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