By GARY POPP
Three men were arrested Friday night at Theatair X during a sting operation conducted by the Clarksville Police Department.
The sting was designed by police after receiving complaints of illegal behavior taking place at the adult superstore, police reported.
Clarksville Police Maj. Darrell Rayborn said a female and two male officers worked undercover to complete the operation, which began about 10:30 p.m. He said while the female officer was in the business, she was approached several times for sex by men who wanted to have intercourse in the business.
Rayborn said it was more beneficial for the investigation to find suspects who were willing to go to another location on the pretense of patronizing a prostitute.
The female officer and one of the male officers, who was acting as her boyfriend, then went to the exterior of the property to find people willing to travel to a different location for sex. The undercover officers found two men who agreed to travel to nearby Crest Motel on U.S. 31.
Bill Leon Bohall, 52, of Vallonia, and Jeffery Scott Grooms, 44, of Louisville, were each charged with patronizing a prostitute, a class A misdemeanor, late Friday night. Both men were arrested about an hour apart at Crest Motel.
The third undercover officer entered one of Theatair X’s theaters, Rayborn said. While in the theater, the officer observed two men engaging in sexual intercourse. One of the men, later identified as Kristopher Druen, 31, of New Albany, was charged with public indecency, a class A misdemeanor.
The officer in the theater used text messaging to notify a team of officers conducting surveillance around the business of the illegal sexual encounter taking place, Rayborn said. The second man found having sex is an unidentified male, who was not arrested. Rayborn said the man escaped arrest as the officer in the theater was unable to get a sufficient description of the man.
Rayborn said the operation was a success and similar operations will follow.
“We plan on making more visits to the business,” Rayborn said, adding that the department will shift its focus to criminal activity taking place inside the business, instead of conducting prostitution stings.
He said the officers are responding to the concerns of citizens of and will continue to do so.
“We are looking into the what is going on and doing our best to confront the problem,” Rayborn said.
Theatair X has been a point of contention for many years among residents of Clarksville and its politicians.
In 2011, Clarksville Town Board passed a zoning ordinance that created adult business zones; that opened the door for Theatair X to face citations.
The passage of the ordinance was considered a victory for Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana — a Louisville-based group that has long opposed Theatair X.
The town passed an ordinance regulating adult businesses in 2005, but was ruled invalid by a Washington County judge as the ordinance never went before the plan commission and never had a public hearing before it passed as is required for zoning.