Alamance Strip Club Case Settled
Special Report - November 20, 2009
Facing more than 700 charges related to prostitution, drug violations, alcohol violations, and nudity, the owner of a strip club in Alamance County has reached a settlement with the county commissioners that requires him to “cease and desist” current operations of the strip club, and prohibits future ownership, operation, or affiliation with a sexually oriented business (SOB) in the county. The county commissioners unanimously agreed to settle with Paradise Club owner Raymond E. Barbour II and club operators, Ronald Lee Davis and Theresa Murray Davis, on November 16. The settlement consists of two parts. Barbour will pay the county $6,136 over 18 months as a fine for violating the county’s nuisance ordinance and to cover the investigation’s costs. Additionally, Barbour and the Davises agreed to “permanently cease and desist the unlawful use of the property” and “not own or operate … or have any affiliation with a sexually oriented business in Alamance County.”
The charges resulted from a five-month undercover investigation coordinated between Person and Alamance County law enforcement. Superior Court Judge J.B. Allen, Jr., ordered that the club be closed on June 22, after a nuisance complaint was made against Paradise Club employees, who were accused of violating state law and Alamance County’s SOB ordinance.
In 2003, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law, “SB 996-An Act to Prevent the Negative Secondary Effects Caused by Sexually Explicit Conduct on Premises Licensed by the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission,” which restricts conduct at SOB’s that serve alcohol. The General Assembly passed the law in response to a five-year battle over criminal conduct associated with strip clubs across North Carolina. The purpose of the law is “to address the harmful secondary effects of such entertainment, including higher crime rates, public sexual conduct, sexual assault,” “prostitution and the criminal abuse and exploitation of young women," and drug offenses.
In 2001, Christie’s Cabaret sued to overturn a previous state law that banned sexually explicit conduct at sexually oriented businesses. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law in an August 2002 opinion, saying that the law violated the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights to free expression. The North Carolina General Assembly responded in 2003 by passing a revised version of the law, prohibiting simulated sex acts and other obscene conduct in establishments that are licensed to serve alcohol. The North Carolina Family Policy Council worked with other groups and several state agencies to get the law passed in the 2003 Legislative Session.
In December 2006, the 2003 law was upheld once again by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Giovani Carandola v. Fox. In its opinion, a three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit ruled that the law is constitutional, and reversed a 2005 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge N. Carlton Tilley, who determined that the law violated the constitution because it was vague and overbroad.
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.