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"Sanford orders caterer to stop sex parties at banquet hall"

on Wednesday, 26 October 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Morning Sentinel

SANFORD — Town officials have ordered a local catering company to stop hosting sex parties at a former Knights of Columbus hall on High Street.

Jim and Susan Colley of Springvale, operators of Great Beginnings Catering at Mousam View Place, have been hosting monthly swingers' parties at 47 High St. for a few months, town officials claim in an Oct. 21 letter to the Colleys.

Town officials took action after undercover police officers attended a Halloween party at the banquet hall on Oct. 15 and witnessed about 40 people openly engaged in various sexual acts, said Police Chief Tom Connolly.

The letter to the Colleys ordered them to stop promoting the banquet hall and admitting patrons "for purposes of engaging in or observing nudity or sexual conduct."

The Colleys don't have a permit to operate an adult business in town, said Code Enforcement Officer Shirley Sheesley. Moreover, the town's zoning ordinance doesn't list adult businesses as a permitted use, so the ordinance would have to be changed to allow the Colleys to even seek a permit for an adult business, Sheesley said.

The Colleys couldn't be reached for comment.

The parties, publicized on a swingers' group website, playsouthernmaine.webs.com, apparently started in July and were scheduled to run through December. Couples and single men paid $40 admission at the door; single women got in free.

The Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic service organization and social club, sold the building several years ago. It's now owned by Northborough Realty Holdings of Chelmsford, Mass., said Town Clerk Sue Cote.

Great Beginnings is a tenant in the building, which is available for weddings and other special events. Gov. Paul LePage and Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen have held public forums there in the last several months.

The Colleys hold permits to sell food, hold dances and offer other types of legal entertainment, Cote said. Their liquor license expired on Oct. 5.

On Oct. 12, Jim Colley applied for new licenses for 47 High St. for a new company called Fresh Start Catering, Cote said. The Town Council is scheduled to review the applications on Nov. 1.

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