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Orem officials send letter to PacSun disapproving of store display

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 6:01 a.m. MDT

The University Mall pictured Jan. 18, 2005. Orem’s city attorney won’t press charges against Pacific Sunwear for allegedly displaying sexually-charged T-shirts, but the mayor and City Council want to make sure the company knows they thought the display was inappropriate. (Stuart Johnson, Deseret News) The University Mall pictured Jan. 18, 2005. Orem’s city attorney won’t press charges against Pacific Sunwear for allegedly displaying sexually-charged T-shirts, but the mayor and City Council want to make sure the company knows they thought the display was inappropriate. (Stuart Johnson, Deseret News)

OREM — Orem’s city attorney won’t press charges against PacSun for allegedly displaying sexually charged T-shirts in its University Mall store, but the mayor and City Council want to make sure the company knows they thought the display was inappropriate.

The mayor and City Council sent a letter dated March 25 to PacSun management.

The letter says in part: “As the display could be readily viewed by both minors and adults, we found the display to be especially inappropriate. We believe that this type of public display is objectionable, not just to us, but to many of the citizens of Orem.”

The letter asked the store to think of the children.

“We value our children and do not want to subject them to this kind of public display in our mall,” the letter said.

The correspondence was signed by Orem Mayor Richard Brunst Jr., and council members Hans Andersen, Margaret Black, Mark Seastrand and David Spencer.

Resident Judy Cox purchased $567 worth of T-shirts at a PacSun store at University Mall on Feb. 15. Cox said she was concerned about the messages and images on the shirts. She filed a complaint with the Orem Police Department and city attorney, claiming the display violated city ordinance and Utah law.

City spokesman Steven Downs said the city received many complaints about PacSun and looked to see whether the company broke obscenity laws.

"The city review did a thorough review of prior case law to see if we had any kind of case against PacSun,” Downs said. “We determined that we didn’t, that if we tried to push this forward we would not win in the end.”

Cox thanked the mayor and council for standing up for decency in the community.

"This is not an issue of what is available for adult purchase, rather of a corporation marketing and profiting from the sale of sexually enticing and explicit material to minors," she said in a prepared statement. "I believe the request to PacSun to be a responsible corporate citizen in protecting our teens and children is appropriate, and it reflects our mutual concern for our children, families and community."

PacSun could not be reached for comment.

Cox said she has until April 15 to return the T-shirts.

"I expect they will honor their return policy," she said. "I will check to see what the store has decided regarding selling the worst ones to minors before I return them."

Email: psamore@deseretnews.com

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