A strip club suing the city for a “bribery scheme” it claims favors competitors more than their own business is now under court order to shut it down – and we don’t mean on the main stage.
As Rare previously reported, Fantasy Plaza filed a lawsuit against the City of Houston over a 2013 agreement between 16 strip clubs and the city, alleging the clubs in the agreement are donating to a police program in exchange for non-enforcement of local laws.
The club, which is located off of North Freeway, alleges they are harmed because they must still follow the laws.
However, presiding Judge Fredericka Phillips granted a temporary injunction this week to shut down the club for a list of alleged grievances brought forth by the city:
“The court has ordered that the club close immediately, and the club and property owner must each post a $10,000 bond with the registry of the Harris County District Court,” assistant county attorney Rosemarie Donnelly said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.
Allegations of the suit include allowing prostitution and employing minors.
In total, the city said 30 arrests occurred at the club over the past four years.
In June 2017, undercover officers reportedly found a 16-year-old runaway working at Fantasy Plaza after she gave a lap dance to an undercover officer; the teen allegedly used a fake ID to secure a job in the establishment.
Police activity increased over the past eight months, as authorities made six prostitution arrests and four arrests for violating sexually-oriented business laws during the period of time.
According to court documents, the city accused the club of multiple infractions to sexually-oriented business laws, calling the club a “common nuisance.”
Through their lawyer, Fantasy Plaza said they attempted to work with the city to make changes they thought necessary for better monitoring by undercover officers, such as sealing off VIP rooms, lowering booth walls and increasing lighting:
“We were dealing with the city… they knew (about the issues) and didn’t have a problem with it, and we were working things out with the city,” attorney Albert Van Huff said in an interview.
The city first requested the injunction in December 2017.
This is a developing story.