Owners of Los Gatos nudist camp arraigned on water siphoning charges

LOS GATOS, Calif. -- The owners of a South Bay nudist camp were arraigned Monday in San Jose on charges they were stealing water from their neighbors in the middle of a drought.

The husband and wife did not enter pleas at the courthouse. They face seven charges and the most serious, a trespassing charge, carries a maximum prison term of three years.

"A business who ran out of water last year in the middle of our drought and decided to divert water from their neighbors," Santa Clara County Deputy DA Denise Raabe said.

The allegation is simple but there's more to this than one can see with the naked eye.

Glyn and Lori Kay Stout run Lupin Lodge, a clothing optional nudist camp in the Los Gatos hills.

The Stouts are charged with diverting water from a creek managed by the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District, a group that manages 60,000 acres of open space preserves.

The district repeatedly refused the camp's requests to install water lines to one of its creeks to siphon water for a swimming pool and an 87,000 gallon tank.

ABC7 News toured the camp last September.

The two wells on the camp's 110 acres were drying up and so was a nearby spring.

"We're just regular people living here and we need the water," one resident said.

The lush lawns were gone.

Residents had conserved water use by 40 percent. Lori Stout says they began trucking in water at great expense.

"They truck in 3,800 gallons of water at a time and it ranges from $200 to over $400 per truckload," she said.

In September, rangers dismantled makeshift water lines from the creek.

Prosecutors charge that the camp was siphoning water.

"Even if there were no drought, this case would be filed. Of course with a four-year drought, it becomes that much more urgent," Raabe said.

The Stouts and their lawyer left the courthouse after the hearing and declined to comment.

To learn how much water your city is required to cut back, click here. For water rebate information from Bay Area water suppliers, click here. And click here for tips on how to conserve water. To learn more about how to report water wasters #WhereYouLive, click here.

For full coverage on the drought, click here.
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