So HPD misplaced fifty grand worth of sex toys. It could happen to anyone.
The Emperor is gone. So is Cyber Wabbit.
Three years after Houston police seized these and hundreds of other sex toys worth $50,000 from the Adult Video Megaplexxx, the devices may be missing from the department's property room.
The discovery came to light when a lawyer for the adult-entertainment shop sought to reclaim the 564 items that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently declared legal to sell.
After initially telling attorney Richard Kuniansky the sex toys would be returned, Houston police then said they were destroyed.
"They said no problem, you can send somebody by to pick them up, and then we get another call and it's 'Whoops, we don't have them,' " Kuniansky said.
Kuniansky said police told him they were destroyed, but he doubts that explanation.
"There is apparently no court order authorizing destruction of the property or any record of what happened to the property," he said.
Richard Segura, acting director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, said Kuniansky has a right to ask for the devices back, but police shouldn't have to safeguard them forever.
"If I go over to your house and spend the night there and leave my shoes, can I expect my shoes to be there three years later?" he said. "What is the police department going to do with a bunch of (sex toys) ... keep them?"
Still, he said whether the items were destroyed and under what authority would likely be set by department policy.
No matter how much time had passed, the department can't destroy property without following regulations, Kuniansky said.
Ray Hill, who has been a consultant for adult businesses, said sex toys were too tantalizing for police to destroy.
"I think the cops stole them," he said. "We've got these gifts to give our girlfriends and friends, and as gags."