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Utah mom buys all of store's 'indecent' t-shirts

Utah Mom Buys Store Out Of 'Offensive' Shirts

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A mother upset about "indecent" T-shirts on display at a Utah mall found a quick if not especially convenient way to remove them: She bought every last one.

Judy Cox and her 18-year-old son were shopping Saturday at the University Mall in Orem, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, when she saw the shirts in the window of a PacSun store.

The shirts featured pictures of scantily dressed models in provocative poses.

Cox said she complained about the window display to a store manager and was told the T-shirts couldn't be taken down without approval from the corporate office. She then bought all 19 T-shirts in stock, for a total of $567. She says she plans to return them later, toward the end of the chain store's 60-day return period.

The shirts cost about $28 each on the website for PacSun, which sells beach clothes for teenagers and young adults.

"These shirts clearly cross a boundary that is continually being pushed on our children in images on the Internet, television and when our families shop in the mall," Cox said in an email to The Associated Press.

The story was first reported by The Daily Herald of Provo.

An employee at the Orem store said Tuesday she wasn't authorized to speak about the issue and referred questions to the company's Orange County, Calif., corporate headquarters. PacSun CEO Gary Schoenfeld said in an emailed statement the company takes pride in the clothes and products it sells, which are inspired by music, art, fashion and action sports.

"While customer feedback is important to us, we remain committed to the selection of brands and apparel available in our stores," Schoenfeld said in the statement.

Orem is a city of about 90,000 in ultraconservative Utah County that uses the motto "Family City USA." Most residents belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which frowns on pornography and encourages its youth to dress and act modestly.

City code prohibits anyone from putting "explicit sexual material" on public display. The city defines that as "any material that appeals to a prurient interest in sex and depicts nudity, actual or simulated sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse."

Cox met with Orem city attorney Greg Stephens on Tuesday to discuss whether the images on the T-shirts violated city code.

Stephens said he told Cox that she first needed to file a complaint with police. Stephens said police would review the issue and decide whether it needed to be passed on to the city attorney, a process that could take weeks.

Cox said she wants her actions to make clear that these types of images are not acceptable for public display.

"I hope my efforts will inspire others to speak up within their communities," Cox said in an email. "You don't have to purchase $600 worth of T-shirts, but you can express your concerns to businesses and corporations who promote the display of pornography to children."

Longtime mall manager Rob Kallas said the display is down now because Cox bought all the shirts. He said the PacSun store manager told him she was embarrassed to put up the display but was following instructions from corporate managers.

Kallas said this is the first time he's received complaints about PacSun. But in the past, others have complained about images in the windows of Victoria's Secret. That's led to Orem city attorneys at least once asking the store to remove an image, he said.

Kallas didn't see the T-shirts in question until getting an email from Cox, but he said he agrees that they were inappropriate. Victoria's Secret has images of women in lingerie, but their clientele is different, he said.

"This is a store that caters to junior high and high school age kids," said Kallas, mall manager for 40 years. "Some of the poses were provocative and were inappropriate for a store catering to young people."

PacSun has 600 stores across the United States, the company's website shows.

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Dennis February 27 2014 at 7:49 PM

I hope that she gets stuck with all the T Shirts . Sorry lady no refund !

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tlgt64tam February 19 2014 at 9:55 PM

again, look at the shirt! why should our young girls be taught that they need to look and behave like this??? copy n paste: http://images4.pacsun.com/is/image/pacsunproducts/0097483690020NEW_01_069?qlt=85,1&op_sharpen=0&resMode=sharp2&icc=sRGB%20IEC61966-2.1&iccEmbed=0&printRes=72&scl=2.0783132530120483

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kellyfly2344 February 19 2014 at 6:43 PM

If bratty 20 somethings can protest in municipal parks for entitlement ------- and unskilled fast food workers can complain about minimum wage, then I guess a concerned mom can get her "shop" on.

People do things we don't agree with every day. It's just the wholesome ones who get picked on.

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truckerjim1 February 19 2014 at 5:26 PM

I would just like to ad.."I hope she has to eat them"...

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truckerjim1 February 19 2014 at 5:22 PM

Please believe me when I say not all Mormons are as prudish as this lady..
Our children can be trendy too.. I don't see any thing provacative or inapropriate
in the modeling of the shirts

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martrnbsn February 19 2014 at 4:46 PM

And the store already ordered replacements for the shirts.

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ihave1465fans February 19 2014 at 4:18 PM

Clearly she plans to raise the attention of more of the family Cox to these T-shirts ! One has to wonder what her maiden name is : Stokes ? Oh the possiblities !

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susan_m_lee February 19 2014 at 4:00 PM

We have a moral imperative to hide the bodies. PacSun will replace the "pornographic" tshirts with burkas.

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ihave1465fans February 19 2014 at 3:55 PM

From a lady named "Cox" no less !

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ihave1465fans February 19 2014 at 3:47 PM

What sort of Nutjob is this woman ? She actually buys all the shirts then plans to return them, if it were my store, I'd file a trespass notice and not let her anywhere near the place, and would not let her return them.

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