A charge of operating without a license were dismissed against the president of a "sex-talk" company that has three times been denied a city business license.
But city prosecutors planned April 5 to refile the charge against the company, Allusions Inc.Defense attorney Stephen Cook believes the charge amounts to harassment.
Dale Lund, president of Allusions, was charged with operating without a license after an employee allegedly made a sex-for-hire deal with an undercover policeman at the company, 1817 S. Main, Suite 6, on Feb. 3.
Salt Lake City Prosecutor Cheryl Luke on Monday asked 5th Circuit Judge Philip Palmer to dismiss the charge because the city was going to file the same charge against the company instead. Contacted Tuesday by the Deseret News, Luke refused to explain why she was taking that particular approach.
But Cook said the charge is weak and he'll fight it as fiercely as the charge against Lund.
The attorney said he believes the charge is an attempt by the city to harass the company, which first applied for a business license last September but has been denied three times and has taken the city to federal court.
"I'm disturbed the city would bring the charges that, in my view, were unsubstantiated," said Cook, who is also defending the employee, Jacqueline Freshwater, 35, who is charged with soliciting sex and operating without a business license.
Cook, in court documents, maintains that even if the undercover police officer were telling the truth, what occurred at Allusions on Feb. 3 did not involve a business transaction.
Freshwater, who faces an April 15 hearing, is accused of offering to perform a sex act for $100 with an undercover officer who paid the company a visit the day after the company's attorneys had filed a suit in federal court. She has pleaded not guilty.
The outcome of Freshwater's case may greatly affect Allusions' federal suit, Cook said.