After a 13-year-old girl was found dancing illegally at an all-nude Miami Beach strip club, several similar South Florida clubs tell NBC 6 they maintain stringent policies to verify the backgrounds of their entertainers.
Managers of strip clubs in Miami-Dade and Broward counties said dancers must provide valid government identification and must be 18 years old. Roman Dickerson, manager of the all-male nude strip club Swinging Richards in Pompano Beach, said his team goes further to make sure its dancers are legal.
“We choose to be 21 and up,” he explained. “It eliminates a lot of problems, elimates a lot of things. I'm not having to watch and make sure that the 18-year-old dancer isn't getting a drink.”
Dickerson also executes random background checks on his dancers, and even checks their blood alcohol content before they leave the club.
“We're in the business of, you know, selling parties, and having a good time, and entertaining our guests. But, at the same time, we need to take responsibility,” he said.
Dickerson said he feared that responsibility may have been overlooked at Club Madonna, where a 13-year-old girl was forced to dance by three people arrested on human trafficking charges, authorities said.
The club’s owner, Leroy Griffith, said last week that his staff didn’t know the girl was a minor, or that she was the victim of human trafficking.
“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.”
Club Madonna was forced to close for six months on Friday after Miami Beach’s city manager revoked its business license following the developments in the case.
Authorities said the girl, who is not being identified, was held against her will by three adults, one of whom was a dancer at the club. The Miami child advocacy group Kristi House said such cases are becoming far too common.
“... Many of the girls we serve have been exploited in this way. We are extremely grateful that law enforcement, prosecutors, service providers, and the community are recognizing and responding to the commercial sexual exploitation of our children,” Dawn Thompson of Kristi House said in a statement.