Sunday, July 08, 2001

Strip club disputes claims

Authorities are harassing Deja Vul lawyer charges

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — A search warrant served Friday night on Deja Vu Showgirls in Mount Carmel contained vague allegations of prostitution, an attorney representing the strip club said Saturday.

        “"The people who operate Deja Vu are denying any allegations of wrongdoing,” attorney H. Louis Sirkin said.

        “The club has operated completely within the law for the three years it's been open.”

        Clermont County prosecutor Donald White said illegal drugs were found at the club. He refused to be more specific about what drugs were confiscated and from where or whom in the club.

        No one has been charged or arrested in connection to the raid.

        Police combed the club, 516 Batavia Pike, for five hours Friday. They took records, computers and dancers' contracts in a search Mr. Sirkin described as a “sweeping, massive seizure” which amounted to “harassment.”

        “I know they found illegal drugs on the premises, ” Mr. White said.

        “If drugs are illegal, how is that harassment?”

        Mr. White said his office will review the items confiscated this week and determine whether to bring the case before a grand jury.

        County officials said the search was prompted by a months-long undercover investigation involving complaints of prostitution and illegal-drug activity at the club.

        The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the county sheriff's department cooperated in the investigation, and West Chester Police had drug-sniffing dogs on the scene Friday.

        Deja Vu is a national chain with more than 50 clubs from Ohio to California. The Mount Carmel location reopened Saturday.


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