Monday, December 11, 2000

Law to be used to fight lap dancing

The Associated Press

        AKRON — Lap dancers and their patrons who have contact with one another could soon find themselves charged with prostitution.

        Akron police said they plan to start using the state's prostitution law to regulate businesses with naked or topless dancers.

        The move is in response to a 1998 federal court ruling that declared unconstitutional a state regulation prohibiting nude dancing in liquor establishments.

        Since then, police haven't had much clout in regulating nude dancing.

        But, “proprietors have become bolder in the type of activity they have permitted their dancers to engage in, city Prosecutor Doug Powley said. “They are pushing the bubble.

        Police think using the prostitution law could be the key.

        The law prohibits “sexual activity for hire,” which includes “touching another person for the purpose of sexual gratification.” A first offense is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

        “You can dance and shimmy all you want as long as there is no contact with payment for sexual gratification,” Akron police Capt. Michael Madden said.

        He said undercover vice detectives will monitor the clubs. Police plan to notify dancers to discuss what no longer will be tolerated.


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- Law to be used to fight lap dancing