Strip club dancers sue Ohio vice cops, claim retaliatory charges

COLUMBUS (AP) — Six strip club dancers wrongly faced criminal charges under retaliation by two officers from a Columbus vice unit that was later disbanded and is being investigated, according to the women’s new lawsuit against the officers.

The federal suit filed last week alleges the women were charged in 2017 and 2018 because the officers targeted Kahoots Gentlemen’s Club in retaliation for the firing of a bouncer who claimed to work with police.

“These two were charging these women to force Kahoots to rehire this individual,” said the women’s lawyer, David Goldstein. One dancer was accused of a violation for a day when she wasn’t even working, he said.

The women were charged under a state law that bans such dancers from touching patrons. They argue that they were charged without legal justification and that the law is unenforceable because on-duty officers aren’t legally considered patrons.

The city attorney reached the same conclusion and declined to prosecute such alleged violations after the separate arrest of porn actress Stormy Daniels at a different club last summer.

The former Kahoots dancers’ charges were later dismissed. Now they’re seeking compensation for malicious prosecution and violations of their rights.

Columbus police won’t comment on the pending litigation.

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