Z Bone Zone

Z Bone's Media Bites For 1997
When the traditional media wants to jack-up their ratings, where can they go for some good titillation? They go straight to the strip clubs! What LA strip club or dancer is showing up on TV or in print? Find out right here. Who knows, you just might find some interesting news here too.

Orange County: Lap Dances=Prostitution?
December 28, 1997

Compiled by Channel 2000 (CBS Chanel 2) Staff:

Anaheim Authorities Say Touching Involved in Dances is Lewd Conduct

ANAHEIM, Calif., Updated 2:49 p.m. December 28, 1997 -- Orange County is back in the spotlight.

This time, it's not for money woes. Officials in that county are taking steps to make some kinds of dancing a sex crime, reports CBS 2 News.

Anaheim attorneys are going so far as to prosecute patrons of gentlemen's clubs on charges of prostitution, said CBS 2 News' Julia Yarbough. Police and prosecutors say lap dances fit the legal definitions of "a sex act."

Five patrons have been arrested; all had to pay $140 fines and take an AIDS test, said Yarbough.

"If I'm not naked, it's not prostitution," an unidentified dancer told CBS 2 News. "If I'm not exposing myself in any way, it's not prostitution. I'm not doing anything but my job. I'm not having sex with the man."

Next month, 11 dancers and four managers from the Flamingo and the Sahara clubs will stand trial on charges that they engaged in prostitution and also violated city law, reports City News Service.

Attorneys for the dance clubs contend the personal dances are not acts of prostitution, said CNS. While dancers may bare all on stage or within view of patrons, lap dancers don bikini-like underwear or bathing suits when they come in contact with customers.

Police Lt. Steve Walker contends that some dancers simulate sex acts while sitting on patrons' laps, according to CNS.

"Even though they are not totally nude, it's still a sex act," Walker told the wire service.

Randall Garrou, an attorney for the Flamingo, disagreed, said CNS.

"It's an outrageous prosecutorial abuse to claim that constitutes prostitution," Garrou told CNS. "All relevant areas mentioned in the penal code are clothed."

Prostitution is defined in the state penal code as "engaging in sexual intercourse or any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration."

A city law says clothed or not, touching between patrons and entertainers is illegal if it involves the genitals, buttocks or female breast. But club lawyers argue that ordinance is unconstitutional and that state law supersedes it, said CNS.

A state appeal court declined to rule on the law's constitutionality on Dec. 11 and ordered that the club employees proceed to trial, said CNS. A Sahara lawyer appealed to the state Supreme Court on Dec. 18.


None For The Road
December 12, 1997

LOS ANGELES -- The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) today revoked the liquor license of a bar known as One For The Road, at 4168 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles.

The action was taken after Los Angeles Police Department undercover officers observed employees performing lewd conduct involving exposing of breasts and genitalia, touching the genitalia of male patrons, illegally soliciting alcoholic beverages, and serving contaminated alcohol.

ABC's Los Angeles/Metro District Office Administrator Jane McCabe said the lewd and nude conduct is not allowed under state law in a public premises. Said McCabe, "This blatant continued violation of ABC rules and regulations called for no less than the permanent revocation of the license."

The bar was already under a stayed revocation for similar violations that occurred in February of 1990, with the penalty imposed in August of 1994, due to appeals by the licensee.

The bar has a history of violations involving ABC rules and regulations that date back to 1986.

Imposition of the latest penalty was delayed due to appeals by the licensee before an administrative law judge and the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board.


Judge Negates Law Restricting Strip Clubs
August 28, 1997

Article from the LA Times:

By KATE FOLMAR, LA Times Staff Writer

SIMI VALLEY--A city ordinance restricting locations for strip clubs and other adults-only businesses was wiped out Wednesday by a federal court judge's final ruling.

Though the decision--which varies little from a temporary ruling issued last month--was expected, it set off a new round of legal maneuverings on both sides.

The case involves Simi Valley businessman Phil Young's years-long battle to open a strip club. He sued the city, charging that his civil rights were violated by the law, which bars X-rated businesses from operating within 1,000 feet of a school or religious facility, or within 500 feet of any business catering to youths.

In a 13-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge William J. Rea agreed with Young. His reasoning: The ordinance allowed churches, schools and other so-called "sensitive uses" to knock out an adult business at any time during the permitting process. Also, the wording of the law left too few possible sites for strip clubs to set up shop.

The ruling "is a victory for freedom," said Young's attorney, Roger Jon Diamond. "In America, people ought to be able to do what they want to do whether it's the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms or the 1st Amendment right for an adult to see what he or she wants to see in a building where minors are excluded."

To protect citizens from what they contend would be harmful side effects of a strip joint, after Rea's temporary ruling, Simi Valley City Council members hurriedly passed a 45-day moratorium on all adults-only businesses.

And they vowed to appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

"If the residents want us to spend their tax dollars [on an appeal], then that's what we'll do," City Councilwoman Barbara Williamson said.

At a special meeting Sept 4., the moratorium will probably be extended 10 1/2 months, Mayor Greg Stratton said. The moratorium could be extended two years, but City Atty. John Torrance said it would likely last only long enough to fix the faulty law, perhaps three or four months.

"We have our beliefs about what the law should be and [Rea] has his views about what the law should be," Stratton said. "If he's making new law, and we don't agree with it, then we'll appeal it all the way up the line."

Torrance said the existing law could be retooled several ways to make it acceptable, possibly by setting a firm date after which an adult club could not be bumped--say the date of a public hearing or the date a project's planning application is deemed complete. Or the distances could be shortened to create more possible sites for the dance club.

"Maybe we'll put it in the Arroyo [Simi]," Williamson joked. "That's where it belongs."

Young and his Santa Monica-based attorney have a legal challenge in mind as well. They plan to contest the moratorium's validity; without the moratorium, Simi Valley would be vulnerable to any sort of adult business in any part of the city until the law is rewritten.

Because nude dance is considered free expression protected by the 1st Amendment, cities cannot legally ban adult establishments from moving into town. But city leaders can regulate potential harmful side effects of such businesses--namely crime--by limiting where cabarets and adult bookstores can set up shop.

The Rev. Norman Walker--also the school board president--thinks judges such as Rea misinterpret constitutional guarantees.

"When judges can't tell the difference between an op-ed column and dancing naked on the tables of some bar, they have truly reached the low point of moral depravity," he said.


Mermaid Forced to Drown
June 28, 1997

Article from the OC LA Times:

The only adult-entertainment establishment in the city will be forced to close its doors next week. Attorneys for the city of Newport Beach said Friday that Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco Firmat upheld their request to close the Mermaid.

Jeff Goldfarb, attorney for the city, said the establishment is in violation of a number of city ordinances and that the only way the Mermaid will remain open is if the state Court of Appeals intervenes next week.

Attorneys for the Mermaid argued that a jury trial should decide the fate of the restaurant, which features topless entertainment. But Firmat denied that request, which would have delayed the closing. Since the business first applied several years ago for a permit to operate in Newport Beach, the City Council has passed several ordinances that strictly limit operation of adult businesses. When those ordinances, such as a no-touching rule, were purportedly violated, the city revoked the Mermaid's business permit.


Proposed Law on Adult Businesses Draws Criticism
February 14, 1997

L.A. Times - Friday February 14, 1997
Metro Section - page B5

A proposed adult entertainment law is drawing fire from Hawthone residents who contend that the city went too far in its attempt to stave off a 1st amendment lawsuit by repealing a ban on nude entertainers touching patrons.

The proposed ordinance also allows adult businesses to extend their hours to 4am, dim interior lighting and advertise their establishments on signs visible from the Century Freeway. Although the ordinance calls for barriers between performers and patrons, it does not restrict fondling.

City Manager Bud Cormier said the proposed ordinance was drafted to conform with state law that he said allows clubs that do not sell liquor to stay open beyond 2am and does not restrict their code of conduct. Bare Elegance, the only strip club in the city, does not sell liquor and has asked that its hours be extended. Residents are angry because the ordinance goes beyond the extended hours requested by Bare Elegance. The club, which has been open for more than 20 years, asked that its hours of operation be extended from 2am to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Because the state does not monitor conduct at establishments that do not sell alcohol, the city has proposed that the municipal code prohibiting performers from touching patrons be eliminated.

John Weston, an attorney representing the strip club, said the club requested permission last May to stay open until 4am after the city accused the club owners of violating the law. "It's not our intent to stop the 1st Amendment rights of any business in the city," said Councilwoman Ginny Lambert, "but I don't think broadening the ordinance in necessary."

Residents are concerned that the new ordinance will bring prostitutes and encourage other adult businesses to open. "This will allow adult businesses in the city to proliferate," said resident Jerry Jamgotchian. "The passage of this ordinance will turn Hawthorne into Whorethorne."


Strip Club Owner Tried to Sell Sub
February 6, 1997

MIAMI, Feb. 6 -- A south Florida strip club owner remains in federal custody after prosecutors allege he tried to sell a Russian nuclear submarine to Colombian drug dealers for $5.5 million.

Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainberg, the owner of Porky's adult club in Hialeah, Fla., has been jailed without bond since his Jan. 21 arrest on a 30-count federal criminal enterprise indictment. The charges became public during a Miami court hearing Wednesday when a bail request was again denied and the indictment against Fainberg was unsealed.

Two other men listed in the indictment remain fugitives and have not been charged. Among charges facing the club owner, Fainberg is alleged to have engaged in drug trafficking, dealt in contraband cigarettes, provided hookers for Russian mobsters, and received counterfeit money. Federal investigators contend Fainberg acted as the middle man between the Russian mob and unidentified Colombian drug lords for the purchase of several military helicopters, and was planning to broker the sale of a Piranha-class nuclear-powered submarine.

The Russian sub is not designed to carry nuclear weapons, but is designed for stealth and quick attacks. Agents say the cartel wanted to use the vessel to carry drugs from South America to points off the coast of California, where it would surface and unload its cargo.

U.S. officials say they doubt the submarine scheme could have been pulled off. "Who was going to drive (the submarine)?" one observer asked.

What does this have to do with Los Angeles strip clubs? I think they were going to use the submarine to transport dancers into Los Angeles without going thru customs.


News -- 1996, 1997, 1998

Copyright 1995-2001 Sevenel Corporation. All Rights Reserved.