December 10, 2000 03:00am
Dancers Must Stay Off Laps, Police Say
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
by: Stephanie Warsmith
(AKRON, OH) -- Men who get a lap dance in Akron could soon find themselves -- and possibly their friendly dancer -- charged with prostitution.
In the next few weeks, Akron detectives plan to start using the state's prostitution law to police businesses with naked or topless dancers.
The effort -- thought to be the first of its kind in the state -- is largely in response to a 1998 court decision that found a state regulation prohibiting nude dancing in liquor establishments unconstitutional. The federal court ruling out of Cleveland left Akron, as well as most of northern Ohio, with little clout for regulating nude dancing.
Since then, ``proprietors have become bolder in the type of activity they have permitted their dancers to engage in,'' said City Prosecutor Doug Powley. ``They are pushing the bubble.''
Frustrated by the court ruling, police went to Powley's office and asked for help. After doing some research, prosecutors pointed to the state's prostitution law.