After a judge determined that since strip clubs are considered "theater” it was ok for a 17-year-old to strip.  This exposed a loophole in Iowa’s current public indecent exposure law as it applies to minors.  Basically as long as something is considered “art” it was ok for minors to perform nude.

That is simply outrageous and shameful, and I’m glad this problem got the national attention it deserved.

Today Representative Chris Rants (R-Sioux City) emailed me about an amendment that he filed that will close this loophole.

The current law, Iowa Code 2003 728.5, 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.

Rants’ amendment, House Amendment 8255, which rewrites the last paragraph to read:

Except when a person allows or permits a minor to participate in any act included in subsection 1 through 6, which is intended to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires or appeal to the prurient interests of patrons, 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.

This amends the amendment H-8222 to House File 2448, which seems to me to be a pretty non-controversial bill, so hopefully this passes without any problems.  I’ll keep you updated.

You can send Representative Rants an email to thank him for his work on closing the loophole.

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