Judge: Hotel Sex Parties Are Not Free Speech

A hotel owner sued a Connecticut town and police force and lost
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2015 8:00 AM CDT
Judge Says Hotel Sex Parties Are Not Free Speech
More than 5% of residents in Windsor Locks in Connecticut are allegedly on the Ashley Madison cheating site.   (Ashley Madison screenshot)

A small Connecticut community that Patch.com reports is ranked 31st in the state for its number of Ashley Madison users (more than 5%) is making the news again, this time for prevailing in a lawsuit brought on by the owner of a hotel that allegedly hosted sex parties visible from the street. Sharok Jacobi sued Windsor Locks and its police force in 2012 for violating free speech, privacy, and association rights, as well as targeting the hotel's predominantly African-American and Hispanic clients. But a federal judge ruled this week that sex in a hotel bar, "however creative or undisguised," as the Guardian puts it, is simply not a form of protected free speech—much like prostitution.

It all started in 2007 when neighbors began to complain about the hotel, known at times as Windsor Lounge or as Club 91. A group called "Hot Couples" had gotten busy organizing parties that, as two undercover liquor control agents put it, involved "men and women exposing their genitals, fondling others’ genitals, engaging in oral sex, and masturbating." Jacobi and others were arrested and in the years to come other allegations ensued. Federal judge Michael Shea has now thrown out all of Jacobi's complaints, saying the sex parties weren't protected as free speech because they "involved no stage or performance aspect ... and was not accompanied by any advocacy of a particular lifestyle," per the Washington Post. Windsor Lounge is now the Hillspoint Hotel, and a rep says it has no involvement with Jacobi, who has spent much of the legal saga in Israel. (Check out some of the celebs who've been to sex clubs.)

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