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"Licenses for caterer who hosted swingers' parties OK'd; Colley says he's sorry for making a 'monumental business error'"

on Thursday, 03 November 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Sanford News

The owner of a local catering business has been given an opportunity for a "fresh start" after being ordered by the code enforcement officer to stop holding swingers' parties at the High Street function hall he leases.

"I made a monumental business error and I'm truly sorry for that," said James U. Colley at Tuesday night's town council meeting in support of new license applications. Colley was referring to the swingers' sex parties that he and his wife — as "Great Beginnings Catering" — hosted at Mousam View Place at 47 High Street.

Colley and his wife, Susan, who owned and operated Great Beginnings at the hall for the last 10 years, were cited Oct. 21 for several violations of Sanford's code ordinance regulating businesses that have liquor, food and entertainment licenses.

The charges resulted from activities observed by undercover police officers at a Halloween-themed event at the hall on Oct. 15. While the officers observed "no illegal activity" at the party, they observed a wide spectrum of sexual activity in clear violation of state and town codes. According to the letter from the code enforcement officer, the police officers observed nudity and people engaging in a variety of sex acts, which in themselves are not illegal among consenting adults. However, such conduct in "immediate proximity" to where food and alcohol are prepared and/or served violates state liquor laws. Also, some patrons allegedly watched others perform live sex acts for the purpose of "entertainment or diversion."

The Colleys were charged with allowing tumultuous conduct at licensed premises, allowing conduct amounting to a nuisance, prostitution and public indecency, and obscenity. They were ordered by Code Enforcement Officer Shirley Sheesley to cease the activities immediately.

"I have informed the owner of the group, which is neither Sue nor myself, that the parties will no longer take place at Mousam View Place," James Colley wrote in an email response to Sheesley on Oct. 25. Colley said that the scheduled November and December parties that appeared on the group's website will not be held at the Sanford function hall.

"Our intent was never to violate any codes or embarrass this community, the building owner or ourselves," Colley wrote. ...

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