An anti-porn crusader wants Kansas City juries to redefine what's obscene.

The Sex Police 

An anti-porn crusader wants Kansas City juries to redefine what's obscene.

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Responses to the phone calls were mixed.

"Some companies responded very favorably. And we're glad we called them," Eubanks recalls. "Others didn't seem to care much."

Thanks to the pickets, business at the Lion's Den dropped by 30 percent, and 75 percent of the truckers kept driving, Cosby bragged to Christian newswire AgapePress in January 2004. The Lion's Den declined to comment on Cosby's efforts.

The campaign wasn't about hurting business at the Lion's Den, says the Rev. Mike Keating, pastor of Emanuel United Methodist Church in Abilene, where Cosby was a parishioner. The point, Keating says, was to make the shopping habits of Lion's Den customers known to their friends, family and employers. "Overall, people were appreciative and polite because it was handled in that tone," Keating says.

Meanwhile, Cosby ran for Dickinson County Commissioner on a values campaign. At the height of his celebrity, Cosby finished third out of five candidates in the primary election, receiving 452 votes.

Cosby also petitioned for a grand jury, which found that the Lion's Den sold obscene items, including dildos, strap-on devices and fake vaginas. The charges were thrown out because of a clerical error. But a year later, Dickinson County filed 10 new charges of obscenity against the Lion's Den for selling blow-up dolls, artificial vaginas and an artificial mouth.

Cosby's efforts had a fatal flaw. He relied on a 1986 law that made dildos and artificial vaginas illegal. The law had been thrown out by the Kansas Supreme Court in 1990. In that case, prosecutors had charged Wichita adult-bookstore owner Randy L. Hughes with obscenity for selling undercover cops "The Sexplorer Pleasure System," a vibrator kit with a dildo attachment, and "Miss World," an inflatable doll with an artificial vagina. The high court declared the statute unconstitutional because "the Legislature may not declare a device obscene merely because it relates to human sexual activity."

Because the Kansas Legislature hadn't rewritten the unconstitutional portion of the statute, District Court Judge Robert D. Innes had no choice but to throw out the case against the Lion's Den.

Cosby didn't think of the cases as failures. "If you look at the big picture with what's happening in Kansas in general, the event in Dickinson County is a spark that has gone off across Kansas," Cosby told the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle. "Nothing is in vain."

At the Lion's Den, a final, silent protest remains. A billboard on westbound I-70 reads: "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Pornography destroys families." On the back side, it continues: "Jesus heals and restores. Pornography destroys."

Inside the Lion's Den, Ms. Piglet, the inflatable pig doll purchased by the county as part of Cosby's campaign, sits on a shelf like a victory trophy.

But Cosby is long gone.

Not long after his legal failures in Abilene, Cosby tried his game plan again in Wichita and Salina. A grand jury failed to bring charges against two Salina stores. But in Wichita, grand juries have indicted six video stores in cases that are awaiting jury trials.

In April 2006, Cosby left Abilene for Kansas City to run the local chapter of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families. Cosby's goals matched those described in the coalition's 2006 annual report, which defines its mission as "[to] educate the Christian community on sexual ethics according to a biblical worldview; encourage and challenge Christians to live sexually pure lives; engage Christians in public policy relative to sexual ethics; embrace those harmed by pornography and help restore them to sexual wholeness."

Cosby had turned his distaste for pornography into lucrative jobs for himself and his wife, Cathy, who also works for the National Coalition and "has been an integral part of her husband's aggressive confrontation of the sex industry since September 2003," according to her biography on the organization's Web site. Cosby's salary isn't listed on the coalition's most recent tax form, filed on June 30, 2006. But the salary of his predecessor is listed as $70,934.

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