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Virginia Beach, Va. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said Monday authorities overreacted when they confiscated two display photos of scantily clad men and a woman from a clothing store and cited the manager on a misdemeanor obscenity charge.
Abercrombie said it would pursue its legal rights aggressively and expected to prevail.
"The marketing images in question show less skin than you see any summer day at the beach. And certainly less than the plumber working on your kitchen sink," the company said in a statement.
Virginia Beach police issued the summons Saturday after Abercrombie management did not heed warnings to remove the images from the Lynnhaven Mall store after some customers complained, police spokesman Adam Bernstein said.
One photograph showed three shirtless young men, with one man's upper buttocks showing. The other image was of a woman whose breast was mostly exposed, authorities said.
City code makes it a crime to display "obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles," Bernstein said.
Bernstein said police charged the manager because there is no legal way to issue a summons to a corporate entity in such circumstances. If convicted, the manager faces a fine of up to $2,000 and as much as a year in jail.
The manager declined to comment.