By Emily Geiger
So, I’m listening to the radio news in my car yesterday, and the news guys tells me that Iowa’s Court of Appeals ruled that Iowa’s law permits nude dancing by minor girls if the strip club where such conduct occurs can be considered a theater.
Needless to say, I was incensed.
I remembered hearing about his case before. Basic story is this. Seventeen year old girls goes into a strip club and gets naked. Strip club owner gets arrested under Iowa’s Public Indecent Exposure (Chapter 728.5), which reads:
An owner, manager, or person who exercises direct control over a place of business required to obtain a sales tax permit shall be guilty of a serious misdemeanor under any of the following circumstances:
1. If such person allows or permits the actual or simulated public performance of any sex act upon or in such place of business.
2. If such person allows or permits the exposure of the genitals or buttocks or female breast of any person who acts as a waiter or waitress.
3. If such person allows or permits the exposure of the genitals or female breast nipple of any person who acts as an entertainer, whether or not the owner of the place of business in which the activity is performed employs or pays any compensation to such person to perform such activity.
4. If such person allows or permits any person to remain in or upon the place of business who exposes to public view the person’s genitals, pubic hair, or anus.
5. If such person advertises that any activity prohibited by this section is allowed or permitted in such place of business.
6. If such person allows or permits a minor to engage in or otherwise perform in a live act intended to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires or appeal to the prurient interests of patrons. However, if such person allows or permits a minor to participate in any act included in subsections 1 through 4, the person shall be guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to a theater, concert hall, art center, museum, or similar establishment which is primarily devoted to the arts or theatrical performances and in which any of the circumstances contained in this section were permitted or allowed as part of such art exhibits or performances.
So, I came home and read the actual appellate court opinion. It sounds more like the trial court said that strip clubs can be considered theaters, and so the theater exception applies, and the appellate court said that’s not the type of factual determination that the state can appeal.
So, my initial pissedoffedness was slightly misplaced. First, I’m pissed off that the numerous courts who have been stupid enough to fall for the “a strip club is a theater” line.
Second, I’m pissed off at the legislature for drafting such a crappy law with a loophole that makes it okay for MINOR children to be sexually exploited by performing naked in public so long as the sleazy strip club owner can argue he’s running a “theater.”
Third, I’m still pissed off at the appellate court who basically punted on actually ruling on the merits of the case.
Fourth, I’m pissed at the prosecutor who should have thrown every charge and the kitchen sink at this pervert in an effort to make as much of it as possible stick, but apparently didn’t.
Any which way you look at it, a grown man used naked minor children for purposes of sexual arousal in a public place and got away with it. This is a highly disturbing result.
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