A Franklin strip club and its employees have faced challenges from the city and investigations since it opened more than two decades ago.
In the past few years, New York, New York Cabaret, 1221 E. Second St., has been the subject of criminal investigations and prosecutions as well as administrative and civil hearings at the state and county level.
Here’s a look at some key events between the club, city and investigators.
April 2017: City objects to liquor permit renewal
Franklin City Council formally objected to renew the strip club’s liquor permit renewal as due to the state investigation that resulted in two arrests and several citations against its liquor permit last month.
City officials say that New York New York has operated in a manner that demonstrates a disregard for state laws and regulations, city ordinances, and constitutes a nuisance.
November 2017: Grand jury indictments
A Warren County grand jury handed down 23 charges against the club as well as two managers and a dancer.
Prosecutor David Fornshell said the club, as well as Michael Lee Reese, 37, of Miamisburg; Courtney A. Rogers, 25, of Springfield; and Mark G. Butterfield III, 27, of Cincinnati, were indicted on misdemeanor and felony charges.
The charges arose from a joint investigation involving law enforcement officers from Franklin police, the Ohio Investigative Unit, and the Warren County Drug Task Force, officials said.
March 2018: Manager sentenced for cocaine trafficking, illegal operation
In March 2018, Reese was sentenced to three years on probation for his part in trafficking in cocaine and illegally operating a sexually oriented business.
Reese appeared before Judge Timothy Tepe with his grandmother with whom he lives along with children, 1, 2 and 3 years old. He entered guilty pleas in January 2018.
March 2019: Trial for club owner
The owners of N.Y.N.Y. Inc., which owns New York, New York Cabaret, were put on trial for cocaine trafficking and other charges stemming from the December 2016 criminal investigation.
After a one-day bench trial on March 21 and the review of briefs from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office and defense counsel, Tepe issued his decision on April 12.
Tepe found the corporation not guilty on all six charges, which included felony cocaine trafficking and other drug charges. A seventh count for illegally operating a sexually oriented business, a first-degree misdemeanor charge, was dismissed at the March 21 trial.
The corporation has one hearing scheduled next month before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission as a result of Franklin City Council objecting to the liquor license renewal. The corporation is also facing a hearing before a Warren County Common Pleas Court magistrate concerning its ate a sexually oriented business.
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