resident urges oak lawn to crack down on porn

by victoria pierce
special to the tribune

may 26, 2005

a complaint from a resident is prompting the oak lawn police department to check if harmful or obscene materials are being sold in the village.

mark decker brought what he believed to be pornographic magazines to the village board's legal, ordinance and licensing committee this week, complaining that such materials should not be sold in town.

village ordinances and state law prohibit the sale or exposure of "harmful material" to children younger than 18. in addition, state and local regulations bar the distribution or sale of obscene materials.

decker believes the magazines qualify as harmful material and asked the village to enforce its ordinances.

"i want oak lawn to be pornography free," decker said. "the sale of pornography cheapens the community."

his main concern, he said, is that convicted sex offenders will have access to pornographic magazines and use them to "fuel their obsession."

decker said his goal is not to have every drug store or gas station owner who sells such magazines charged, but to keep the materials out of the hands of convicted sex offenders.

"i'm after the man, the sexual predator, who wants to get hopped up and go out and hurt children," he said.

decker was accompanied by david smith, senior policy analyst with the illinois family institute, who encouraged the village to enforce its ordinances.

"this is a serious issue. pornography is not a victimless crime," smith said.

police chief robert smith said officers would check various locales throughout the village and if questionable materials are where children can see them, owners will be asked to secure them behind a counter.


copyright i? 1/2 2005, chicago tribune

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