Rapid City, SD
A Rapid City business could be facing criminal charges. The city said Spencer’s Gifts located in the Rushmore Mall is operating an unlicensed adult orientated business.
Complaints have been coming in for more than a year on the type of merchandise being sold at Spencer's Gifts. Mayor Alan Hanks said after an investigation, they found the store was not in compliance with the city's adult oriented businesses regulations.
"There was a request for them to come into compliance and we finally got to the point where we just couldn't get them to comply," Hanks said.
The city's municipal code
says any commercial business that sells explicit material as one of their principal purposes has to be licensed with the city. Spencer's is not. Hanks said the store does not believe they fit that description, but the city thinks otherwise.
"You can go on their website and see the type of material they were selling. Obviously it's of sexual nature," Hanks said.
On Monday, a search warrant was carried out and many items of racy nature were confiscated to be used as evidence if the store does not comply and the city files criminal charges.
Shoppers agree with the city.
"I'm sure that there's children that come shopping in the mall without their parents, you know, who are of age to be out by themselves and will obviously, I don't think will be mature enough to see stuff like that," Melissa Filkins said.
Hanks said the city isn't trying to rack up fines for Spencer’s. They're simply trying to get them to follow the same rules that every other business of that nature does.
"What we're looking for is compliance with the city ordinance that was passed by the City Council in 2003 and also was placed on the ballot and approved by the voters, overwhelmingly, back in 2003," Hanks said.
He said the ball in now in Spencer’s hands; what they wish to do with it is up to them.
If Spencer’s gets a license, the entire store wouldn't have to be 18 and older. They could block off a certain area specifically for those items and sign it 18 and over.
If the city does file charges, the store could have to pay $200 for every day they don't meet the requirements. We did call Spencer’s Gifts and they chose not to comment.