DuPage moves to close 'adult' photography studio near Wheaton

 
 
Updated 2/28/2019 9:13 PM
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DuPage County officials filed a lawsuit Thursday against Hot Shots Photography Studio near Wheaton, alleging it is operating as an adult business and not a photography studio.

The state's attorney's office filed the 25-page complaint against the business at 0N758 Gary Ave. alleging violations of county zoning ordinances and state statutes regarding the location of adult entertainment facilities and adult business uses.

The suit seeks to permanently prohibit Hot Shots from continuing operation at the site.

According to real estate listings, Hot Shots leased the 2,000-square-foot space through April 30, 2025.

It claims Hot Shots placed personal ads on adult websites commonly used to advertise escort services. Respondents would be screened by an employee of Hot Shots and then directed to the Gary Avenue location.

Once they entered the business, according to the lawsuit, they were charged $100 as a cover fee and then directed to a room to meet an employee and discuss services and payment that ranged from $500 to $1,500.

After receiving payment, employees of Hot Shots would engage in sexual activity, according to the lawsuit.

DuPage sheriff's deputies began an undercover investigation, including a deputy visiting the location and paying for "experiences" with scantily clad women in November and February.

The findings, according to the suit, "cause Hot Shots to be defined as an adult business use as defined in the DuPage County Zoning Ordinance, and thus constitutes a basis by which that use violates the ordinance."

The suit also alleges "the business operations of Hot Shots are such that a significant or substantial portion of such operations involve an activity distinguished or characterized by its emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities."

DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick said he appreciated DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin's "steadfast efforts" in filing the suit.

"We owe it to the citizens of DuPage County to closely examine these types of businesses and hold them accountable and shut them down when they're trying to operate an adult business so close to schools and residential areas," Mendrick said Thursday evening.

The suit alleges Hot Shots violated county ordinances by:

• Operating and maintaining an adult business in a B2 Zoning district.

• Operating an adult business within 1,000 feet of residentially zoned property.

• Operating an adult business within 1,000 of a school -- in this case both Wheaton Montessori School and Wheaton North High School.

• Operating an adult business within 1,000 feet of an "active recreational facility" -- in this case Wheaton North's athletic fields.

The suit also claims Hot Shots is in violation of a state statute prohibiting operating an adult business within a mile of a school, day care center, cemetery, public park, church or public housing.

"The type of establishment allegedly operated by Hot Shots has no business being located anywhere near a residential area, school or any other location where children are present," State's Attorney Bob Berlin said in a written statement.

The lawsuit is first set to be heard on June 27 in courtroom 2007.

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