Olathe — Separate grand jury investigations in two Kansas counties are expected to decide what's too obscene for businesses to sell.
Courts in Johnson and Wyandotte counties began selecting grand juries Monday in the case pushed by the Kansas City chapter of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families, which delivered petitions to six metro county prosecutors in May.
In the next several weeks, the jurors could decide what is and what isn't obscene, setting standards for their Kansas communities. The jurors could be asked to watch adult videos, review adult toys or even take field trips to the businesses.
The petitions in the six counties - Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass on the Missouri side and Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas - ask the courts to look at strip clubs, sex shops and video rental stores.
"We don't know yet what they're going to want to see," said Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman. "Each community has to answer for itself what it will tolerate."
"I don't think there's much credibility in what they're doing," said Steve Wolverton, owner of Hollywood at Home in Overland Park, which carries adult magazines and videos. "I think it's a First Amendment issue, an issue of privacy."
Phillip Cosby, executive director of the coalition's Kansas City office, first made headlines in 2004 when activists launched similar drives against sexually oriented businesses in Cosby's hometown of Abilene and 10 other Kansas cities, using a state law that allows the public to petition for grand jury investigations.