Boy performs at Ohio bar, now lawmaker wants to ban child drag shows

Jacob Measley, 9, dressed as drag queen ‘Miss Mae Hem’ watches other drag performers Aug. 11, 2018 at Legends Showclub in Toledo. The Blade
Jacob Measley, 9, dressed as drag queen ‘Miss Mae Hem’ watches other drag performers Aug. 11, 2018 at Legends Showclub in Toledo. The Blade

A Toledo area 9-year-old boy performing in drag at a Lancaster bar prompted an Ohio lawmaker to introduce a bill to expand the definition of child endangerment.

State Rep. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, introduced House Bill 180 to prohibit a performance in a bar where a child simulates sexual activity. The business could lose its liquor license and the parent could face misdemeanor criminal charges, if the bill becomes law.

“Given our heightened focus on human trafficking and the role money plays in trafficking children, I knew I had to take action to make sure this activity does not occur again,” Schaffer said. “We can do better to protect innocent children and we must do better.”

Related: Video of the boy’s performance

Jacob Measley has been performing as Miss Mae Hem for several months, according to The (Toledo) Blade. His performance includes cartwheels, high kicks, splits and dancing in costume. He got intested in drag queens while watching RuPaul's Drag Race, a reality TV show, with his mom, Jerri Measley, The Blade reported.

She could not be reached for comment on this story.

Video of a Dec. 1, 2018 performance at JD Hendersons bar in Lancaster led to complaints and an investigation by Lancaster police and state agencies, said Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler. No law violations were found, he said.

After the investigations ended, a “social media outbreak” occurred when a website purporting to be the city of Lancaster made it sound like it was an ongoing issue, Scheffler said. “It was all dead, gone, over. Investigation found no violations. Then someone anonymously on this site posted inaccurate information.”

The posting led to threats of violence and demands to close the bar from people across the country, the mayor said. “It got really nasty.”

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