Miami Beach’s city manager revoked Club Madonna’s business license Friday following allegations that a 13-year-old girl performed nude at the club.
“Based on the gravity of recent allegations, the evidence collected and the owner’s admitted failure to have the required knowledge of what illegal activity occurs at Club Madonna, I have determined that this activity presents an actual threat to the public health, welfare and safety of the public,” Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales said in a news release.
The club at 1527 Washington Ave. will remain closed for six months while it is under investigation, the city said.
Multiple agencies are investigating the allegations that the 13-year-old performed nude at the club.
Three people face human trafficking charges after they forced the runaway girl into prostitution and exotic dancing, authorities said.
Morales' order was issued to Leroy Griffith, the owner and president of Club Madonna.
"If it is so easy for human traffickers to kidnap a 13-year-old girl and bring her to dance at the club without anyone noticing, how can we be assured that this is not going to happen again to other young girls in our community?" Morales said Friday.
Griffith said earlier this week that he had no idea the victim had been forced to dance there.
“We looked through the files, we can't find no contract, so everybody that works here has a contract and rules and regulations that work here," Griffith said. "And so somehow unfortunately she got in there with the club.”
The city cited Griffith's acknowledgment as it announced the revocation of his club's business license Friday.
Now, the club owner's attorney, Richard Wolfe, plans on suing the city for what he calls a premature move with no basis.
Up to 25 employees at Club Madonna are out of work as a result of its temporary closure.
"This situation is a big, big mistake," said one employee who spoke on camera, but did not want to be named. "This little girl was not innocent. I know what an innocent girl is like. This is not an innocent girl."
Griffith's last dispute with Miami Beach was about selling alcohol in Club Madonna.