Horry County Solicitor aims to shut down Airport XXXpress Video

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A special prosecutor for Solicitor Jimmy Richardson filed a civil petition Monday asking the court to declare Airport XXXpress Video a nuisance and allow local officials to shut it down.

The store is located on U.S. 17 Bypass near the back gate of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

Court documents say the business "has the general reputation for lewdness" and a private investigator hired by the solicitor found people were gathering to have sex in the back room of the business. Internet forums also listed the business as a site to meet up for sex.

"The above mentioned acts and conduct are offensive to public decency, morals, peace, and health, and constitute a public nuisance which is subject to abatement under (S.C. law)," the solicitor's petition states.

Some of the store's activities were also documented in an investigative report by WMBF News.

In recent years, county officials have cracked down on adult businesses, including passing sweeping ordinances that place strict limits on where, when and how these companies can operate.

But the solicitor insists this case isn't related to that effort.

"This is the first since the new policies," Richardson said, "but it really doesn't have anything to do with the adult ordinances the county passed."

The solicitor said he began receiving complaints about the store a few months ago. Although his office typically handles criminal cases, Richardson said he does have the authority to pursue other avenues of enforcement.

"We also have the ability to go after places through civil nuisance type statutes," he said. "There are always multiple ways to go against an entity if they're not complying with the laws."

Michael Battle, a Conway attorney, has been hired to handle the case as a special prosecutor.

Kelvin Lewis, the store's owner, declined to comment.

MyHorryNews.com contributed to this article. You can find its story, here.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.