Dennis Sobin, former mayoral candidate and Washington publisher, was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail and fined $500 on charges stemming from a February 1981 police raid on a club Sobin operated in Southeast Washington.
D.C. Superior Court Judge John J. Malloy sentenced Sobin to two concurrent 30-day sentences and fined him $150 on each of two charges of operating a public hall without a license. He was released on bond pending an appeal.
Malloy also ordered Sobin to pay $100 on each of two charges of failing to have a proper certificate of occupancy for the club, located in a two-story house at 36 N St. SE that at the time was Sobin's residence.
Sobin, the publisher of sex-oriented tabloids distributed in the city and an unsuccessful mayoral candidate who vowed, if elected, to abolish the police department's vice squad, had been convicted on all four charges in a trial in November. He could have been sentenced to a maximum 180 days in jail and fined $800.
Charges were brought against Sobin in February 1981 after police raided The Playground, an establishment described by Sobin in a press release last spring as a "swingers club" where "invited guests were encouraged to participate in nude and sexual encounter activities."
Police investigated the club for six weeks before the raid.
Sobin and members of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union protested the raid, saying police should not interfere in sexual activities of consenting adults.
Police said The Playground was raided because Sobin allegedly was selling alcohol and violating business codes.
Charges against Sobin of selling alcohol without a license were dropped after a judge ruled that a search warrant used in the raid was defective.
Police said The Playground is no longer operating.
Neither Sobin nor his attorney could be reached for comment yesterday.