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Charges laid

Police announced Liquor Licence Act charges against two Pussy Palace organizers late on Oct 6 – that’s the Friday that began the long Thanksgiving weekend, a three-day holiday when the women’s lawyer was out of town.

“I am advised by Det Wilson that he has laid charges against the permit holders of the special occasion permit for that event,” says Supt Bill Blair, head of Toronto Police corporate communications.

“We’ll not be releasing the names of the persons charged or the nature of the charges that have been laid.”

Det David Wilson is the plainclothes detective at 52 Division who led the visit to the Pussy Palace in the wee hours of Sep 15 at Club Toronto, a bathhouse. Five officers spent more than an hour at the event on what they called a routine liquor licence visit.

Says Blair: “I know the community’s very concerned…. I imagine this is going to cause a bit of an upset.”

Pussy Palace lawyer Frank Addario says he’s still not received the paperwork.

But Addario says the charges break down like this:

• Three counts of disorderly conduct

• One count of failing to provide sufficient security

• One count of serving liquor outside prescribed area

• One count of serving liquor outside prescribed hours.

Addario says the two women who signed the one-night-only liquor permit will not plead guilty. “They’re not in any way feeling ashamed of what they did.”

He won’t identify the women or give details about his legal strategy, but says there’ll be a constitutional fight at the provincial offences court trial (expected in 2001). He also says every bit of evidence will be questioned and fought.

The Liquor Licence Act’s top fine is $25,000.