VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (AP) -- Police confiscated two display photos of scantily clad men and a woman from an Abercrombie & Fitch store and cited the manager on a misdemeanor obscenity charge, authorities said.
The police issued the summons Saturday after Abercrombie management did not heed warnings to remove the images from the Lynnhaven Mall store after some customers complained, police spokesman Adam Bernstein said.
One photograph showed three shirtless young men, with one man's upper buttocks showing. (This ad is also in the Toledo store's display window at Westfield Franklin Park mall.) The other image was of a woman whose breast was mostly exposed, authorities said.
City code makes it a crime to display "obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles," Bernstein said.
Bernstein said police charged the manager because there is no legal way to issue a summons to a corporate entity in such circumstances. If convicted, the manager faces a fine of up to $2,000 and as much as a year in jail.
The manager declined to comment, saying that he was waiting for guidance from corporate officials at the New Albany, Ohio-based retailer. A telephone message left for an Abercrombie spokeswoman Sunday night was not immediately returned.
Abercrombie & Fitch has earned a reputation for its risque catalogues and promotional photography featuring scantily clothed models. In 2003, the company halted publication of its 7-year-old A&F Quarterly catalog because of complaints about sexually suggestive photographs.
In 2004, it agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of promoting whites over minorities and cultivating a virtually all-white image.
Posted by LS