Strip club sues to recover $25K fine for nudity charge

A local strip club is suing two Ohio agencies to get back a $25,000 fine levied against it due to an alleged nudity violation that put its liquor license in jeopardy.

WCI, Inc., which operates Cheeks Gentlemen’s Club in West Carrollton, has sued the Ohio Liquor Control Commission and the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

Cheeks’ attorney’s, Anthony Cicero and Luke Lirot, said the commission unfairly imposes “enormous and disproportionate fines” against gentlemen’s clubs for liquor license violations.

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In March 2014, a performer at Cheeks was found to have nudity and sexual activity violations during a “private dance” for an Ohio Dept. of Public Safety Investigative Unit agent during a “routine field investigation” of which no surveillance footage was available.

Court documents from the Tenth District Court of Appeals stated that, "While performing a private dance for one the investigators, the dancer behaved in a manner that violated R.C. 2907.40(C)(2)," the appellate court wrote. "An employee knowingly touched the investigator while nude or semi-nude. The investigator reported that at the end of the private dance, the performer led the investigator to a table that was located at the entrance of the private area where she gave another employee an undetermined amount of money."

The woman’s criminal case in Miamisburg Municipal Court was pleaded down from illegal sexually oriented activity in a business to fourth-degree misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The federal lawsuit states that no investigator gave Cheeks management a statement of violation.

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“The Plaintiff believes that the presentation of expressive dance performances is a beneficial social activity which creates joy and entertainment for the beholder,” Cheeks’ attorneys wrote.

“The Plaintiff considers the appreciation of the human body, an integral component of the exotic dance performances described herein, which exhibit the socially accepted and/or popular contemporary characteristics or concepts of physical ability and attractiveness, presented to be both entertaining and a socially enriching experience for both performers and patrons.”

This news organization has reached out to Ohio officials and will update this story if they comment.


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