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Published: Saturday, 11/23/2002

Strip club shut down by police after raid

BY DALE EMcH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

One question was answered during a police raid early yesterday morning at the XO club in Maumee: live entertainment means women dancing on a stage.

The Holland Road club opened Thursday evening but was shut down by police at 12:30 a.m. yesterday for not having occupancy and health permits.

It was the opening salvo in what could lead to a court battle between the strip club that has opened near the Cookie Lady and a suburban community that is testing its new ordinance on sexually oriented businesses.

Maumee won't issue an occupancy permit until the owner of XO, Halo Ventures, Inc., of Las Vegas, specifies what it meant when it told city officials in letters that it would be a restaurant and bar with “live entertainment.”

When police raided the club, located in the old Arrowhead Brewing Co., 1500 Holland at Dussel Drive, they found scantily clad dancers on a stage and about 10 to 15 patrons, Detective Sgt. Gayle Lohrbach said.

“The dancers were clothed that we observed,” he said.

Sergeant Lohrbach said a plainclothes officer reported that some of the women were topless when performing lap dances for customers in more secluded areas of the club.

He said the priority for police was not any violation of the sexually oriented business ordinance, but that the club didn't have its required occupancy and health permits. The sergeant said the club could face misdemeanor charges in Maumee Municipal Court.

The real fight likely will be the constitutionality of the sexually oriented business ordinance the city passed in June, three days after XO applied for a building permit.

The ordinance requires adult businesses to be located in areas that are zoned for heavy industry. XO is in a commercial district.

To assist in the fight, Halo Ventures hired H. Louis Sirkin, a prominent Cincinnati freedom of speech attorney who has represented Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and successfully argued a U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned a federal child pornography law in April.

Neither Mr. Sirkin nor Jim Turner, president of Halo Ventures, could be reached for comment.



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