Admitted prostitute says 'moral turpitude' shouldn’t stop her from opening pot shop

Colorado woman claims she was engaging in "the Hindu religious practice of Tantra" during prostitution bust.
By Evan Bleier  |  Dec. 16, 2013 at 10:47 AM
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A Fort Collins, Colo., woman who pleaded guilty to prostitution is now saying that she was engaging in "the Hindu religious practice of Tantra," and that her admission of guilt shouldn’t stop her from opening a medical marijuana store.

During the 2012 bust, Melody Kenyon claims she was participating in paid spiritual communion with the undercover cop who arrested her. She concedes that the incident "could be misconstrued as something sexual," but that it was perfectly legal because she is a Hindu.

Kenyon has filed a lawsuit about Fort Collins' decision to deny her application to open Canna King marijuana dispensary because of "moral turpitude." "The City of Fort Collins' findings of alleged 'moral turpitude' and alleged failure to disclose criminal behavior both reek of hypocrisy, since the City of Fort Collins itself engages in criminal misbehavior in affirmatively allowing individuals and entities to sell marijuana for profit in violation of federal law," Kenyon said in the complaint.

The 18-page lawsuit also elaborates about the 2012 incident.

"According to Ms. Kenyon's testimony, the police agent met her in a room at that hotel, paid her some money, removed his clothes, and lied [sic] on the bed face down. She discussed the practice of Tantra with the agent for some undetermined period of time, and was aware that the agent was recording the encounter. Also, there were one or two condoms placed on the bed during the events leading up to the arrest,” the complaint states.

"Ms. Kenyon used various methods of touching the agent, including her hair and animal fur. Ms. Kenyon also stated on her application to the City that she 'told him [she] would pull out his "energy" of lingam with [her] "energy" of yoni.'…

'Lingam' means a stylized phallic symbol that is worshipped in Hinduism as a sign of generative power and that represents the god Shiva. 'Yoni' means a stylized representation of the female genitalia that in Hinduism is a sign of generative power and that symbolized the goddess Shakti and derives from the Sanskrit word for 'vulva.'”

After pleading guilty, Kenyon paid a $250 fine. Her lawsuit is seeking a judicial review of the city's decision, a declaration voiding it and compensation for civil rights violations.

[Courthouse News]

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