Las Vegas Sun

December 9, 2018

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County zoning board tightens code on ‘sex clubs’

Clark County has tightened its code regarding “sex clubs” after a District Court judge found last summer that the county’s existing ordinance was unconstitutionally vague.

The county commission, acting as the zoning board, approved an updated ordinance from the district attorney’s office earlier this month.

Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said the new language would allow the district attorney’s office and Metro Police to more effectively prosecute cases against alleged sex clubs, which are illegal in Clark County.

The rephrased ordinance “will make it easier for businesses and law enforcement going forward,” he said.

The new ordinance eliminates unnecessary language and provides a more detailed definition for “live sex act,” among other terms — all at the suggestion of Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney, who in August decided the Clark County Code was “unconstitutionally vague.”

Delaney was ruling in a lawsuit between the county and Borchers Family Trust, the owners of the Red Rooster, 6405 Greyhound Lane. The county declared the operation a chronic public nuisance in December 2008, and its owners sued in response in January.

Mike and Chris Borcher have run the Red Rooster, a self-proclaimed swingers club where they throw “parties” with couples or singles looking for a sexual encounter with a stranger, out of their home since 1982, the club’s website said.

According to documents filed with the district court, Clark County had received anonymous complaints dating back to at least 2006 about the club and its activities, one of which said it was “particularly busy Friday and Saturday evenings” with 200 to 300 people attending the parties.

The Borchers alleged the county’s code left an open door for selective and inconsistent enforcement. Chris Borcher told the Sun she “wasn’t even aware” that the county was changing its code as a result of their lawsuit.

“They just can’t stand us. They have to change the law,” she said, adding that the Red Rooster has continued hosting parties. “They worry about one person having a party in their own house.”

Delaney found in favor of the Borchers, saying the Clark County Code failed to define “party,” “group,” “parlor for swingers,” “live consensual sexual activity” and a number of other terms in the county’s old ordinance regarding sex clubs.

The former wording “did not limit, much less define, the persons and/or activities that may fall under the definition of ‘Sex Club,’” she said in her ruling, “and opened the door for arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement.”

In response to Delaney’s ruling, the district attorney’s office drafted the new ordinance, Kulin said.

CORRECTION: This story was updated to reflect that Kathleen Delaney is a judge in Clark County District Court, not U.S. District Court. | (March 3, 2011)

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