Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Dancers arrested for indecent exposure
Topless dancers charged with indecent exposure
6 arrested, 10 sought for removing bottoms in investigation of Charlotte strip clubs.
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Steve Lyttle
Friday, Jun. 18, 2010
Women charged and sought
ABC agents say they have arrested and charged these women with indecent exposure:
Amanda Ammons (Crazy Horse)
Robin Brown (Baby Dolls)
Brittney Delcont (Paper Doll)
Rebecca Kirkpatrick (Crazy Horse)
Christina Pierce (Gentlemen's Club)
Jessica Smith (Paper Doll)
Arrest warrants for indecent exposure have been filed for these women, who have not been located:
Falon Cooksey (Gold Club)
Tina Debe (Crazy Horse)
Tisha Grimes (Gold Club)
Alyssa Jones (Gentlemen's Club)
Fae Kane (Uptown Cabaret)
Alita Lingerfelt (Gentlemen's Club)
Katherine Merriweather (Leather & Lace South)
Joana Smith (Leather & Lace South)
April Williams (Leather & Lace North)
Shirley Williams (Leather & Lace North)
Authorities have arrested six women and were looking for 10 more Thursday night in an investigation of indecent exposure at Charlotte strip clubs, Alcohol Beverage Control officials say.
All 16 topless dancers are charged with violating a state law that, while allowing topless dancing, prohibits dancers at the adult clubs from performing naked.
"They know that they're not allowed to expose themselves and they did," said Michael Crowley of Mecklenburg's ABC commission. "You're not allowed to remove your bottom."
The recent arrests follow a six-month undercover investigation into eight adult-entertainment clubs, including the city's two Leather & Lace clubs, Uptown Cabaret on Morehead Street, and the Gentlemen's Club on Woodlawn Road, just off Interstate 77. Most of the clubs involved are operated by M.A.L. entertainment, a company owned by Charlotte businessman David "Slim" Baucom.
Crowley said the women removed all of their clothes during table dances on the main floor and in semi-private areas, roped off for customers who pay extra for special dances.
Club employees usually monitor those areas closely, Crowley said. But the investigation found no evidence that owners or managers had encouraged the women's actions, he said, and criminal charges against them were unlikely.
Agents said Baucom cooperated with authorities and provided the real names of some of his dancers.
Baucom and his club managers declined comment Thursday, and the owner of the Uptown Cabaret couldn't immediately be reached.
Chris Fall, owner of the Paper Doll Lounge on Wilkinson Boulevard, said the women from his club denied that they removed all of their clothing.
Fall is upset about the charges, saying the investigation is a waste of taxpayer money, particularly in tight financial times.
"The government, they're bad on money and they're coming after us," Fall said. "Paying (agents) to go to strip clubs... and have a good time."
He said the arrests have hurt his business: "Why run all the business off? You're supposed to be helping businesses, not hurting businesses."
The clubs could face disciplinary action by the state ABC commission, which controls licensing for businesses that sell alcohol.
The investigation was conducted by an ABC agent and a Pineville police officer, who visited adult clubs to see if managers and entertainers were following state laws. Such probes are undertaken periodically, authorities said, and the investigation was not prompted by complaints or evidence of a growing problem.
Crowley compared the operation to other ABC stings, in which the commission sends minors into gas stations and grocery stores to try and buy alcohol and cigarettes.
"We want to make sure that these adult entertainment establishments are following the law," Crowley said. "That's our job."
This operation took six months, tough work if you can get it.