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Sex Party House Detailed in Court

March 08, 2002|JEAN GUCCIONE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

An undercover vice officer led jurors on a verbal tour of a Van Nuys house for swingers Thursday, recounting the dance pole in the dining room, covered hot tubs in the yard and an attic area open only to nudes.

Officer James Bradford testified that John Lynch's one-story house had been converted into a pleasure palace for couples who like to swap spouses for sex.

Lynch, 50, is on trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Van Nuys on charges that he violated the city's zoning laws. Prosecutors allege that he operated a business in a residential area and ran a sexual-encounter establishment without a permit. Both are misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail.

Deputy Los Angeles City Atty. Michael Pizzuti said city officials got involved after receiving complaints from neighbors.

Pizzuti accused Lynch of running "a sham operation." He said Lynch created a separate, off-site First and Fourth Amendment Club to collect money from swinging couples before they would be invited into his home for a party.

Outside court, Lynch described it as "an intellectual club" where people can obtain literature and discuss civil liberties.

His attorney, Roger Jon Diamond, told jurors in his opening statement that they may find the sexual activity at the house distasteful but said the case is not about his client's lifestyle.

Lynch's home, known as "The Velvet Swing," is listed in swinger magazines. He said he invites as many as 40 couples on Fridays and Saturdays for all-night parties.

Bradford testified that he and a female officer paid Lynch $40 to gain entrance to a party.

Inside, a big-screen television showed adult videos, a coffee table was piled high with adult magazines, and a list of restrictions was posted on the walls, he said.

"Not your average living room," Bradford testified.

The dining room was converted into a dance area, with hardwood floors, a disco ball and brass pole, he said.

Outside were tents, three hot tubs and a motor home. The garage offered a separate party area with a pool table.

He recalled Lynch telling him there were 27 beds in the three-bedroom house in the 6400 block of Whitman Avenue.

Lynch denies operating a sex business, saying city officials are trying to impose their morals on him.

"They are using zoning as a morals issue," he said outside court. "All I want is to have my parties."

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