PALM SPRINGS (CBS) — Hundreds of “certain individuals” are threatening legal action against the owners of a Palm Springs nudist resort over its policy of not allowing children on the premises.

Desert Sun Resort owners and Orange County residents John and Elizabeth Young filed a lawsuit March 16 in Orange County Superior Court against 500 unnamed defendants asking a judge to rule that the resort’s policy against children does not violate state law.

KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the couple were dumbfounded when they received a letter last month seeking penalties and damages over their policy against allowing kids on their property.

The lawsuit was filed in response to a letter the Youngs received Feb. 17 from Palm Springs attorney David Baron — written on behalf of “certain individuals” — which threatened legal action against the clothing-optional resort “for maintaining and enforcing a No Children Allowed Policy and a Couples-Only Day Pass Policy”.

“The first three years of business we allowed children, and we really felt that there was some kind of liability for a child being on property and maybe being photographed or worse,” Elizabeth Young said.

Baron disagrees and insists the policy is a “clear case of discrimination” fueled more by money than by protecting kids from pedophiles.

Young said her attorneys asked Baron to identify the “certain individuals” who were threatening legal action, but the request went
unanswered. With the letter alleging that the resort was opening itself to “ongoing and mounting statutory damages,” the Youngs opted to go to court to have a judge review the no-children policy.

The Desert Sun Resort website describes its accommodations as “adult only”. California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination by businesses based on age, ancestry, color, disability, national origin, race,religion, sex and sexual orientation.

Elizabeth Young said the resort, which she and her husband bought in 2008, did not previously have any prohibitions against children. But the Youngs changed the policy last year, saying they wanted to protect children.

“We changed the rule last year after seeing all the news stories of child porn,” she said.

She said the resort, which has 32 hotel rooms and 59 condominiums on six acres, gets more than 10,000 visitors a year from around the world, and 40 percent of them are first-time visitors. She said she cannot guarantee that every guest has good intentions toward children.

The resort prohibits public sexual behavior and the use of cameras, cell phones and laptops throughout most of the premises, but “violations do occur,” Young said.

“(We) do not want to be responsible, legally or morally, for pictures taken at the resort that could be posted on websites that exploit pictures of nudist children in order to serve pedophiles,” according to a statement issued by the Youngs.

The Youngs cited recent examples, such as a guest at a nudist camp in Texas who was sentenced to 50 years in prison for filming children, an officer of a nudist club in Canada who was sentenced to five years in prison for child pornography and a couple from England who were sentenced to 12 years in prison for setting up an online nudist forum as cover for a pedophile ring.

Guests at Desert Sun Resort are required to be nude in the resort’s three pools, two spas and pool decks. They can be optionally nude anywhere else at the resort, including the tennis court, gym, firepit areas, cafe and nightclub.

According to the Youngs’ statement, if the resort is forced to abandon its no-kids policy, “it would be an open question whether other clothing-optional resorts, swinger resorts and gay resorts with less strict policies on sexual conduct could also be forced to allow children.”

Elizabeth Young told reporters she and her husband believe they are “on the right side of the law.”

“I will close the resort before I put one child in harm,” she said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (22)
  1. Ze Forte says:

    And I just ate lunch… now I’m going to have to dump the vomit out of my waste basket…

  2. Burgerless says:

    Palm Springs attorney David Baron is just angling for a payday. Lawyers… meh.

  3. wobbles says:

    Shakedown lawsuit. If this lawyer has clients, should they have to be identified? Does the right to face your accuser only apply to criminal cases where you can o time and not civil cases where you can have moeny or property seized by the government by a ruling of the court? Seems like there’s a consitutionality problem with this lawsuit from the get go.

  4. Tommy says:

    I support the stand of the owners of this resort. They have good intentions of protecting children from being viewed and filmed by perverts. Why would anybody want to file a case against someone who is trying to protect the children. Maybe the people who are filing the case wants to look at naked children.

    See what our society is coming down to? All sorts of perversions are being pushed through the legal system. Same sex marriage is one of them. What is next, marriage to children? The morality level of this society is slipping and what used to be morally right is being questioned and twisted to be legally wrong. What is perverted is being dressed up to be legally right!

    1. Visaman says:

      It’s not to protect children, it’s to convert the resort into a swingers den. This type of thing gives family nudist resorts a bad name.

      1. Mark nudist says:

        I don’t read anything about converting it to a “swingers den”. That may be wishful thinking on your part, but that just is not going to happen.

        The interest is on the latest news about “who” the two unidentified men that hired the attorney to see naked kids. That is the real story here! It is no wonder that they did not want to be identified!

  5. Rishell says:

    Naturism is a family activity, where parents can raise their children to be accepting of others and not feel shame about their own bodies. Banning children from naturist resorts destroys this opportunity. To say that resorts draw pedifiles….well that would be like not allowing children to go to churches for the same reason!

    1. acme says:

      Precisely. Have you seen the numbers of child molestations in the Catholic church? Imagine if the victims had gone nude to services? Leave children home and clothed.

    2. ertdfg says:

      So Business Owners can’t decide who they do business with and what business they’re in? We’re going to sue them to tell them how to run their business?

      Sorry, if you want a business that works differently, OPEN ONE YOURSELF.

      How is that complicated? Oh, you want to force others to do things your way, and only your way. So you’re a dictator looking to control others and limit their freedom with their property because you get to tell everyone what to do?

      Yeah, you’re great people. Shut up and go away already.

  6. Pool Services Los Angeles says:

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  7. Stephane says:

    Children are no more at risk in a nudist/naturist resort than anywhere else. In fact, you could argue that they are safer. The risky places for abuse are places where children are left alone with an authority figure. In a naturist/nudist environment, children are with their parents.

    With regards to photography, we should not punish the victims. What is pornography is in the intent of the creator and the perception of the consumer. Pedophilia is a disorder that, in part, causes those afflicted to seek out imagery of children. However, pedophiles existed long before photographic equipment was invented. Pedophiles get aroused from ANY images of children. (even by what is clinically called “neutral” imagery) But because it is a disorder, getting rid all images of children (dressed or not) we would not reduce the number of pedophiles. The disorder would still exist and they would find other ways to fulfill their desires.

    But rather than keep taking space here, I’ll just post a link for those who are interested:

  8. Thindulge says:

    They have seen other resorts fall into trouble and they want to protect kids. What is the harm in that? You want to take your kids to a nudist resort, then choose one that allows kids. There are a lot of other places kids aren’t allowed – R rated movies (sometimes because of nudity, ironically). Bars are allowed to ban people based on age. Get over it. This place is not the only game in town. Go to one that allows kids if you want.

    1. Doug says:

      Well said – but common sense in California is a rare thing.

  9. Gregorovitch says:

    If Mr Baron does not provide the names of those “Certain Individuals” then he is in violation of Article VI of the Bill of Rights. Therefore it must be concluded that he is in defense of pedophiles who don’t want to be identified or they would end up in prison themselves.

    Mr Baron….PROVE ME WRONG.

  10. Rich Pasco says:

    Excellent link, Stephane!

    If the proprietors of Desert Sun don’t think they can provide the safe environment for children that most family-oriented nudist resorts do, then I certainly wouldn’t want to visit Desert Sun myself, either.

    1. Caliente Lover says:

      Rich- I was told by the manager that they quit allowing children at Caliente where you live and are a member of. They have swinger parties and cater to swingers and don’t think children should be there. Why don’t you fight your own battles and quit talking out of both sides of your mouth.

      1. Rich Pasco says:

        (1) Contrary to your claim, the resort where I own my vacation home does not prohibit children. (2) Of course, in every community worldwide, there are some parties inappropriate for children. (3) Please do not make the mistake of inferring anything about my personal values from the policies and actions of one resort’s management. (4) I don’t get your last comment. Are you suggesting that because there are issues in one place, I should be prohibited from addressing issues in another?

  11. tbaby says:

    Really. Sue someone who is trying to protect the little ones all to prove a point of what? Thanks to the new world who doesn’t take kindly to being told that even in your own place, they should be able to tell you how they think your business should run. And the justice system allows them to do so. KIDS shouoldn’t be around adults doing adult things. Want to be naked, go home or choose one of those places that allow nude children to be around nude adults. So are you so rigid and bored that you have to disrupt the life and fun of a business and it’s patrons. Not smart or empowered enough to say Ill go some where else that will cater to my wants. Common sense is lacking in this world today and the idiots are gaining all the power. Sounds like someone didn’t get enough hugs as a child and not taught how to respect someone else’s space.

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