By Roger McKinney

Globe Staff Writer

PINEVILLE, Mo. - The owner of an adult-video store will be sentenced July 17 after a McDonald County jury found him guilty on three counts of promoting obscenity.

McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Geeding in a statement Monday said the verdict was returned Friday against Robert Crump Jr., 34, owner of Midnite Video South, which also goes by the name XXX Adult Video Store.

Geeding said in the news release that the guilty verdict in Associate Circuit Court was the result of nearly two years of preparation.

"I promised the citizens of McDonald County we wouldn't quit and we didn't," Geeding said in the news release. "It's not what happens in practice or during the game; it's the final strike that counts."

Crump was represented by Joplin attorney Bill Fleischaker. Fleischaker said it's unfair that the members of the jury are allowed to speak for the entire community when determining what adult materials can be sold in McDonald County.

"The jury is supposed to assess the community values, not their own, personal values," Fleischaker said. "A handful of people are censoring what others in McDonald County can purchase for their own, personal use."

Fleischaker said the store on Highway 71 continues to operate, for now.

"I'm assuming they're going to use this to try to shut it down," he said.

The case was the latest in a series of legal actions against the store.

In 2003, authorities were successful in obtaining a ruling that Crump's store was a health nuisance. At that time, authorities said they were not questioning Crump's right to sell the material.

The store was closed on March 7, 2003, after McDonald County Associate Judge John LePage ruled that the store was a health nuisance. He granted an injunction closing the store for a year.

In June 2004, authorities filed charges against the clerks in the store because they allegedly sold material that was obscene or pornographic to minors.

In the latest charges, Crump was accused of acting in concert with two clerks to sell "obscene/pornographic material," with no mention of the material being sold to a minor.

In 2000, Prosecutor Dean Dankelson went before a Jasper County jury seeking to have the Midnite Video Store in Jasper County closed for allegedly selling obscene and pornographic materials.

The jury voted 8-4 that the videos presented in that case were not obscene, and the store was allowed to remain open. Fleischaker defended the owner of the store in that case.

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