Staunton passes porno ordinance

Wow, you'd think the devil himself had moved to Staunton! After the city Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond Robertson made a promise to crack down on porn in the area, a grand jury there indicted the owner of After Hours Video, Rick Krial, on eight felony charges. And last Friday, according to a story in the News Leader, Staunton city council passed two ordinances to regulate adult businesses, one that would require store owners to submit to a police background check, and another that would keep these businesses at least 500 feet away from "daycare centers, schools, churches and residences."

Apparently, council chambers was packed with anti-porn folks carrying signs and saying things like, "We do not need the filth, crime, drugs and predators that follow these stores." Others were concerned about the "role pornography plays in the abuse, neglect and murder of children," and a person who lives near After Hours Video feared her property value would go down. Another man was worried for his young granddaughters, who live a few blocks from the store.

With porn more easily available than any of us born in the Playboy Magazine era could ever have imagined, via cable TV and the Internet, it's as much a wonder that these adult stores can survive as it is that Stauntonites wouldn't be more concerned about the porn available in their own homes. (Ironically, Staunton's attempt to censure porn in the area ranks 5th in a Google search on "porn business." ) Indeed, YouPorn.com, a website launched in 2005, is confounding the established porn industry by giving the stuff away. Already, the site has over 15 million visitors a month and ranks higher than cnn.com and weather.com.

However, not everyone appeared to be so righteous. One man, perhaps revealing a little too much about himself, said he had found After Hours Video to a be a clean, well-lighted place with friendly employees. "I didn't see any evidence of prostitutes, drug dealers or any criminals hanging out on the premises," he said.

Meanwhile, store owner Krial, who turned himself in, has a November 14 court date.

1 comment

I feel like this has been blow way out of proportion. I visited the store last night with some friends for the first time to see what all the fuss is about. Nobody was there except for the store clerk-I didn't witness any filth, crime, drugs or predators hanging about nor did the clerk appear to have any demonic horns. She did however tell us that drive-by birdies have become a regular thing for them (which to me doesn't seem like the type of gesture that such a virtuous person or persons would give).

I can understand how it would be upsetting for a homeowner to suddenly have a porn store pop up in their backyard, but my question for those other concerned Stauntonites who are on the war path to end all evidence that the sex industry exists in the area or at all is....why isn't anyone targeting Backstage Video or Desires right now??