Here is a judge that needs to be impeached or at the very least voted out when he is up for retention:

The Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday dismissed the state’s request for a review of the issue. The request followed a judge’s 2008 decision that Clarence Judy, then-owner of Shotgun Geniez, didn’t violate the state’s public indecent exposure law.

Judy was charged after a 17-year-old girl stripped onstage in the southwestern Iowa club in 2007.

Iowa law makes it a criminal offense to allow minors to perform a live act intended to arouse patrons. But Fremont County Judge Timothy O’Grady ruled that the strip club was protected because the law doesn’t apply to theaters, art centers, or other venues devoted to the arts or theatrical performances.

O’Grady said prosecutors failed to prove the club wasn’t a theater.

Not that I have personal experience, but I fail to see how a strip club named “Shotgun Geniez” could be mistaken to be a theater or art center.  But after a quick google search I found out (no I didn’t visit the site) that they are calling themselves “Shotgun Geniez Theater.”  Well there, that makes sense.

Not really, Emily looked up the statute in the Iowa Code that covers this so I didn’t have to:

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.

How can anyone not think that establishment’s purpose isn’t the arousal or satisfaction of sexual desires of the patrons?  Seriously?  I can’t believe this judge ruled this way.  If this law can’t be applied in this case it can’t be applied in any case.  It has no teeth.

So I’m curious where does the line get drawn here?  Does anyone really think it’s ok for minors to perform nude in front of adults say if it were in a theatrical performance.  Perhaps we should allow nude scenes in school plays; according to this judge’s ruling that would be ok too.

The law needs to be tightened up here General Assembly or our kids can be further exploited.

Update 2/12/10: I offered a suggestion this morning on how the loophole can be closed and I ask you to check it out and contact your legislator (if you live in Iowa).

The word is getting around.  Linked at Memeorandum here and here.  Also getting a lot of traffic from Linkiest.com (never heard of that before).  I also appreciate NewsReal Blog, The Other McCain and The American Spectator linking here.  By the way, Stacy, this story is about owners being held accountable for who they put up on stage.  No patron, to my knowledge, was charged.

2nd Update: A request for comment was sent to all of the Iowa Republican Gubernatorial Candidates and incumbent Governor Chet Culver.  So far Bob Vander Plaats and Rod Roberts have responded to Caffeinated Thoughts request.

27 comments
  1. What’s so weird to me about this (other than the fact that it’s crazy) is that, when your entire experience of a place is via pop culture, you have sometimes see a place as pristine and sane but, man, the more I read your blog, Shane, the less wholesome Iowa seems! (And, therefore, the less it comports w/ the illusion/construct.)

  2. So is it art if I shoot someone repeatedly or do I need to put a white canvas behind them to create the art from their exit wounds?

  3. I dont understand why people are fussing over this. Just because Minors are allowed to strip and be nude does not mean that There will be. What ever happend to being aware of your childern and Parents teaching moral up bringing. Just because you are allowed to do something does not mean you have to. If a minor chooses to strip for a 40 year old man that is her choice dont put yourself in her business.

    GO IOWA!!!

      1. @shane vander hart

        No I am not a parent but when I do become one I would like to raise my children better than to make poor decitions. Parents are blaming others for their own lackings. what kind of a parent of a minor does not know what kind of after school job they have. and If they dont know they have issues with communication. Be more involved and aware of what your children are deciding to do. Dont leave it to Public Laws and regulations to Parent your children

      2. @Laura, I agree that parents should know. It is still a stupid loophole. Kids can also be enticed and taken advantage of.

        Common sense says this isn’t a good thing.

        I’m sure that you when you are a parent you’ll think differently.

      3. Thanks I appreicate your opinion. But I just wished that Parents would teach There children about Morals, Honor, and Integraty. Rather than fallowing the law. Quite honestly the parents who allow their children to strip at age should be questioned not legaly but moraly. I just hope that when I have children I can raise them to have honor and pride in what they do.

    1. @Laura,
      WTF.. so if a 12 year old suddenly “decides” to strip for some pedo’s it’s all good right? because it’s her choice and of corse minors know whats best for them right? They are classified as minors for a reason.. it’s because kids are too young to know whats good or bad without guidance from parents..

      Children make bad decisions often purely out of spite of what their parents teach them.. it’s human nature to question and evolve on an independent level and you cant expect minors to do everything how their parents teach.

      The root of all law is based on morality and you cant split the two. The basic nature of law is to find a common understanding of what is right and prevent the wrong.

      This is not art’ Does this picture of Shotgun Geniez look like a theater to you? http://wizeoldman.com/us_clubs/iowa/hamburg/Shotgun_stage.jpg (Safe for work link)

      IMO no one under 18 should be allowed to even enter a strip club

      There is so much to say but honestly you have to know that this is something that must change.

      1. first off You cant strip at the age of 12. You need to be at least 14 due to working age limits.(not saying it is any better)
        Why are you questioning the child What kind of Adult should WANT and I mean WANT to watch a 14 year old girl strip.
        Just because you are over 18 does not mean you are all grown up. If you have the body of a 40 year old but the mind set of a 15 year old That is no better than haveing a 14 year old stipper.

        My parents raised me better than wanting to strip at that age. Learn to control your children because it can be done. People just give up too easly. It was not easy raising me. (trust me) I was rebelous but I at least I knew what was right and wrong and what it meant to rebel too far. My parents taught me about honer.

        Just for your information the law is not moral. The Law is there to protect fairness and equality. Is it Fair to steal from another person? Is it fair to steal from a rich man to feel dieing hungery children? No

      2. @Laura, the minor in question wasn’t working at the strip club. The loophole now allows stripping under any circumstance provided it can be considered art.

        I beg to differ that laws aren’t moral. Yes they are. Morality is the basis of the law, the question is, whose morals? The law is to protect citizens and to provide justice.

        Also, children are free moral agents, you are completely missing the point. And don’t seem to have an understanding of what predatory adults can do to convince kids to do things like this.

        It could be the parents doing it themselves (unfortunately). I work with high-risk kids and have seen tons of crap like this. It shouldn’t be legal. Kids should be protected. Your position is nonsensical.

      3. @Laura,
        As Shane has said, The minor was not working as this is classified as a theater and anyone is allow to go on stage.

        There will always be adults out there who are willing to see a young girl nude, welcome to the creepy reality.. (although in this case i don’t expect that the patrons were aware of her age however thats not the point)..

        A nude 40yr old with the mentality of a 15 year old is not going to have the same effect as a 15 year old with the mentality of a 40yr old. A nude body of a minor promoting the idea that its OK to get aroused by children is the problem, you spread that mindset around and you will have adults thinking it’s ok to get sexual with minors and minors thinking its ok to act sexually with/ around adults. Besides a adult with the mind of a child could be compared to a special needs person and you don’t see them stripping.
        As for your example : Is it Fair to steal from another person? Is it fair to steal from a rich man to feel dieing hungery children? No.. well is it Moral feed dieing children ? [YES] Is it moral to steal from a rich man? [NO] the ends justify the means theory does not apply.. it will always be immoral to steal from a rich man even if your feeding the starving. Being rich does not make you immoral..

        in the beginning law started off something like this.. lets say there was a tribe of people.. one of those people in the tribe was much larger and stronger( lets say he is Bob) ok so bob likes to intimidate and beat up the other people in his tribe to get what he wants be it fighting off other males to get more of the meat or taking whatever tribal woman he wanted and beating off anyone who said other wise. Bob would always win in any disputes because he was bigger and would always get what he wanted. to the vast majority of the tribe Bob was a douche and was very unfair and things were unequal. The other tribals did not like starving and not being able to feed their children because bob would beat their asses and horde their meat.. they also did not like having their women raped.. These things were WRONG and they felt that it should be RIGHT and this is where morality comes in. These people felt that if they wanted to live a moral life with Equality and fairness so that everyone was happy they would need to do something about it. So these tribals did something, they all ganged up on Bob and beat his ass.. they let it be known that when you do these immoral, unfair things there were going to be consequences and this became the law.

        You rant about how your parents raised you to be a Honorable person and taught you right from wrong. In truth everyone learns life differently. for the most part parents teach their children how to live a moral life and to live by the laws of life. It appears to me that there are basic concepts that you are missing about these things.. perhaps your parents did not teach you in the same way as they taught me.. also as shane said people are free agents.. we learn on our own from our experiences.

        I myself could very easily go into a rave if i continue typing but i sure do like to express myself 😀

  4. I think the judge’s interpretation of the law as written is correct. Such a club is theatre, and I have met a few “Drama majors” that work strip club scene to pay college tuition. Patrons go to such a club to “See a show”.

    Within reason though, I still have a question about at what point it became apparent that the girl was 17. If it could be determined that she was 17 at the door, she should not have been admitted in the first place, and it may be possible to charge the club with allowing a minor to come in at all. But if she presented plausible false-id at the door, and was allowed in with the apparent understanding that she was “of age”, and this understanding may have persisted until she was on stage stripping, and only admitting afterward she was 17? How and when was her proper age apparent to the owner of the establishment, bartenders, bouncers or others who may have had duty to act on such knowledge?

  5. “Does anyone really think it’s ok for minors to perform nude in front of adults say if it were in a theatrical performance.”
    Actually, the question is, can I use force to stop a 17 year old from being a stripper. This is not a case where you can just superimpose your moral philosophy on some one else. To do it is to resort to force and violence to solve a problem. Not the least of importance

    1. @Matt, Not the least of importance is the woman is 17 years old. What is the difference between 17 and 18, less than a year, so its not even much of a moral outrage, let alone a case to use force against her.

    2. @Matt, Violence? Give me a break. Is violence used to keep underage kids out of bars.

      You are trying to rationalize something that is absolutely inappropriate. This case may deal with a 17-year-old, but the loophole can allow kids much younger.

      The 17-year-old girl can cool her heels and if she really wants to strip she can wait a year.

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