The controversial 2 Live Crew album "demeans women in the extreme, trivializes the sexual relationship and is puerile" but doesn't violate Salt Lake City's pornography ordinance, Assistant City Prosecutor Glen Cook said Thursday.
"We won't be taking action against record stores that sell it to adults," Cook said. "Selling it to minors would be another matter."A copy of the album - "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" - was purchased at an east-side record store last week by a Salt Lake vice officer for review by prosecutors.
Cook said, "As a former sailor, even I found it rough. It certainly is inappropriate for children."
However, he said the album can't legally be banned in the city because the lyrics don't violate the standards set out in state and city law.
Two members of the 2 Live Crew band were arrested in Hollywood, Fla., June 10 after a live performance that police determined violated that community's obscenity law. Earlier, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., record store owner was arrested for selling the album.
Prosecutors in a number of Utah communities began reviewing the album as the controversy escalated into a national debate. Some Salt Lake Valley record stores sold out of the album after interest in it was heightened by the Florida arrests.
A random survey of record stores last week revealed that most had not been selling the album to minors. One store went so far as to keep the album in a back room rather than on display, requiring customers who wanted it to ask for it.
Salt Lake City is the first Utah city to make a determination on the album's obscenity. Decisions in a number of other communities are pending further review and, in some cases, receipt of public complaints upon which to base a ruling.