By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
On February 12, Sisemore and the Webbs returned to court. When Mayfield again refused her request to hold a public hearing, Sisemore pulled out a gold sticker she'd peeled off a vibrator package: "Sold Only as a Novelty." She stuck it on the gag order.
"It's not a gag gift," Sisemore said. "It's not a novelty. It's not a cake decoration. It's an effort to hide the truth, and I want a hearing out there. Don't say you're trying to protect my client, because it's not true."
Clearly furious, the judge said nothing for a long time, then sent her to Moore's office to work out a compromise.
Sisemore had a decision to make. "I had a judge who was so angry he wanted to put me in jail," she says. Moore wouldn't drop the case. "What kind of mud would be on their faces?" Sisemore says. "But if Joanne pleads guilty to anything, she never teaches again."
Sisemore and Moore finally agreed that the defendant and her lawyer could talk about anything except the events of October 7. Joanne's trial is expected to take place this summer.
On January 24, at the Burleson Chamber's annual meeting, Joanne Webb and Shanda Perkins stood in front of the group while Perkins was named top recruiter for 2003. Joanne received the second-place prize. Perkins and most of the other dress-code committee members have since resigned; Joanne has taken a leave of absence.
The Webbs considered moving out of Burleson; for now they've decided to stay. But the big question in everyone's minds remains: Are they swingers?
Michael Hughes, Chris' one-time partner, says so. "Everybody in Burleson assumed it," Hughes says, "so they decided they might as well do it." Hughes says that early last fall, Chris became obsessed with a Web site for swingers. His screen name: Righteous Fox.
"He was in it for about six months or so," Hughes says. "It got to where we weren't doing any work. Chris would sit on the computer and chat with all the swingers out there."
Joanne and Chris refused to confirm or deny the rumors.
"This town has taken such an interest in our sex lives," Joanne says. "If my husband and I decide to become swingers, it will be nobody's business.
"That's what we're fighting for--the right to privacy in our bedrooms."
To some that's confirmation enough.
Passion Parties netted 600 new consultants in the month after Joanne's appearance on Primetime Live and finally coughed up $3,000 for her defense. The Webbs brought the 20 vibrators back from the friend's house, and Joanne has started doing Passion Parties again--outside Johnson County. But Joanne keeps the "big boys" in a separate suitcase in case they need to make another run for the border.