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9 Arrested in Maryland May 20 'Operation,' 4 Charged with 'Perverted Sexual Practice'

Thursday July 22, 2021

9 Arrested in Maryland May 20 'Operation,' 4 Charged with 'Perverted Sexual Practice'
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Everyone has probably heard of Cottaging or Dogging, but Perverted Sexual Practice?

The Washington Blade reported a Maryland county's sheriff office "arrested four men on a charge of Perverted Sexual Practice under the state's sodomy law during a May 20 raid on the Bush River Books & Video store in the town of Abington, located 25 miles north of Baltimore."

The Harford County Sheriff's Office raided the Bush River Books & Video store in Abington on May 20, arresting eight men accused of engaging in sexual acts with other men and one accused of soliciting prostitution from an undercover female deputy.

At the request of the Blade, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said there were "a total of nine arrests were made during the May 20 'operation,' which the statement says was prompted by complaints about the adult store by nearby residents and some of its patrons."

Of the nine arrests, the statement continued, three were charged only with Perverted Sexual Practice, one was charged with Perverted Sexual Practice and Indecent Exposure, four were charged only with indecent exposure, and one was charged with Solicitation of Prostitution.

Maryland law defines Perverted Sexual Practice as "Unnatural or perverted sexual practice."

"Prohibited.- A person may not: (1) take the sexual organ of another or of an animal in the person's mouth; (2) place the person's sexual organ in the mouth of another or of an animal; or (3) commit another unnatural or perverted sexual practice with another or with an animal."

The Penalty reads: "A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both."

The law, the Advocate notes, "is another name for Maryland's anti-sodomy law. Though the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling invalidated bans on consensual sodomy, many states still have such laws on the books — and they are enforced, even if it runs afoul of federal law."

"Maryland's General Assembly last year voted to repeal the perverted sexual practice law, but it appears that the Senate and governor did not follow its lead."

A friend of one of the arrested men told the Blade that his friend rented one of the store's private video rooms and was with another male friend inside the room when sheriff's deputies "in full riot gear unlocked his room and arrested him and his friend" on a charge of indecent exposure.

"They spent the night in jail and were badly treated," said the friend who spoke with the Blade. The newspaper reached out to the owner of the store —the Bush River Books & Video — for comment, but did not receive a reply. A sign outside the "store says the store has four theaters on its premises. Sources familiar with the store have said it also charges a fee to rent small video rooms with doors that lock from the inside, where adult videos can be viewed on small video screens."

The Advocate adds: "Harford County State's Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, a Republican, may be doubting whether the "perverted" sex charges hold up in court, as it appears — according to online court records — that at least three of the men arrested will no longer be charged. But one man did appear to still face the perverted sex charge, a misdemeanor. Others are facing charges of soliciting prostitution and indecent exposure, though prosecutors may have a tough time convicting if the exposure occurred behind a locked video booth and among consenting adults."