Texas Man Convicted of Running Home-Based Sex Club Called 'The Cherry Pit'

A man illegally used his home to run a sex club in his quiet suburban Dallas neighborhood, a municipal jury ruled Tuesday.

Jim Trulock, 59, was found guilty on five counts of operating a sexually oriented business without a permit and five counts of operating a sex club, all misdemeanors. He faces $7,500 in fines, but he also has pending criminal charges tied to his weekend swinger parties.

He also was charged with suspicion of engaging in organized criminal activity, a felony that carries a sentence of five to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A court date for that charge has not been set.

Attorneys for Trulock said his home was not a business, but rather a private residence where friends socialized. A Web site advertising the weekend parties at "The Cherry Pit" showed a room of beds grouped together and underwear hanging above a bar.

City prosecutors contended that the Web site and admission charges proved the home was being used as a business. Trulock's attorneys said the money came from voluntary donations.

Prosecutors said Julie M. Norris, 30, was Trulock's business partner. She is also charged with suspicion of engaging in organized criminal activity.

Trulock and Norris were also arrested last month on suspicion of violating the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code for allegedly possessing large amounts of liquor in their home.

The Duncanville City Council had passed an ordinance banning sexually oriented businesses. Trulock and Norris have a civil case pending against the city challenging the ordinance.

Duncanville is 12 miles southwest of Dallas.