Sex Offender Still a Fixture of Downtown Warehouse Rave Scene; City Ponders Yanking Use Permit


The party's not over, after all:

A year and a half after a New Times article about the rave scene at a downtown Phoenix warehouse owned by a convicted child molester, the glowsticks are brighter than ever.

Michael Booher, (pictured), who served four years in prison for coercing a 7-year-old to pee on his privates, now obtains permits for the parties he allows at the warehouse. That apparently allowed him to avoid the kind of city troubles covered in the article, like getting shut down by the fire marshal -- for a while, anyway.

The City of Phoenix has a hearing scheduled for March 26 to revoke a use permit for the warehouse, located at 441 West Madison, for unspecified "non-compliance with stipulations."

Booher's raves recently attracted attention from Channel 5 (KPHO-TV), which sent in an undercover team to find out what goes on at these parties. They found, as New Times did in 2007, that Booher cavorts happily with the teens at his warehouse raves -- yet few seem to know he's a registered sex offender.

The Channel 5 report comes off as somewhat guileless: My gosh, our cameras caught partygoers dirty dancing, and some were wearing underwear as outerwear! Some people were even sucking on pacifiers. Parents, take heed!

The real concern, according to a teatotaler interviewed by Channel 5, is the drugs at these raves. (And let's face it: While it's true that not all ravers are on drugs, odds are better than even that your average raver has at least tried methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Ecstasy).

Despite the fear-mongering, there seems to be no evidence that rave lovers or Ecstasy users are causing nearly as many societal problems as bars and drunk drivers.

After all, if the warehouse raves were such a problem, you'd think the Sheriff Joe Arpaio would have done something about them.

The warehouse is right next door to Maricopa County's Fourth Avenue Jail. 

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