State Representative Rod Roberts (R-Carroll), who is one of the Republicans running in the 2010 Iowa Gubernatorial Race issued a statement to Caffeinated Thoughts regarding the Iowa Court of Appeals decision to dismiss the state’s request to review a 2008 district court decision by Fremont County Judge Timothy O’Grady. O’Grady’s decided that since prosecutors failed to prove that the strip club wasn’t a theater it was ok for a 17-year-old girl to have stripped there since it is to be considered “art.”
The Iowa Court of Appeals was wrong when it ruled on Wednesday to affirm the decision of an Iowa District Court to acquit the owner of a strip club who allowed a 17-year-old to perform a nude dance in the owner’s establishment. Allowing such nude public exposures by minors is a clear violation of Iowa Code § 728.5. There was no doubt that this establishment was a strip club, but these Iowa courts held that since the strip club could also have been a theatre, the owner’s conduct may have fallen within an exception to § 728.5. This holding was clearly wrong: strip clubs are strip clubs, not theatres. There was no doubt that the owner’s establishment was a strip club, and there was no doubt that the nude dancer in question was a minor. This is exactly the type of harm that the Legislature had hoped to avoid by adopting § 728.5, and it is a shame that these Iowa courts have chosen to disregard the Legislature’s clear intent. The Legislature will certainly be revisiting § 728.5 to make clear to Iowa courts that strip clubs are not theatres.
Please help Representative Roberts address this issue by contacting your legislator to encourage them to close the loophole.