April 23, 2014

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Police say club hired 17-year-old girl as a topless dancer

BRUNSWICK — Three North Ridgeville teenagers hired as topless dancers at Christie’s Cabaret were arrested early Thursday after Brunswick police learned one of the girls was only 17.

The other two women, Leanna Long and Ashley Turner, both 18, were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child endangerment.

All three had signed contracts with Christie’s on Oct. 9 to work as dancers at the Pearl Road club, which serves liquor and features topless dancers. All three teens danced at the club for the first time last Wednesday night.

Police were called to the club around 2:22 a.m. Thursday after another dancer reported her boots had been stolen from her locker room.

Officers stopped the three teens in their car, accompanied by two men, in Christie’s parking lot.

Turner and the 17-year-old were charged with theft after the officers reported finding the boots in the back seat of the car. The 17-year-old’s charges will be referred to juvenile court.

Officers said the 17-year-old and Long initially provided false identification. The 17-year-old said the men in the car were her cousins but could not provide their last names. Under questioning, she admitted to meeting the men that evening in the club.

She said she and her friends only intended to visit with the two men and smoke marijuana in their hotel room, police reports said. Both men, one of whom was a registered sex offender, were released without charges.

No one from Christie’s Cabaret was charged. But Brunswick police said they will be forwarding the charges and information on the investigation to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Julie Hinds, a spokeswoman for the department, said the Ohio Investigative Unit, formerly known as the Ohio Board of Liquor Control, could look into possible charges against the club, which could result in fines and license suspensions by the Ohio Liquor Commission.

As part of their investigation, Brunswick police officers requested copies of the contracts the three teenagers signed with Christie’s Cabaret.

The 17-year-old used a false name and identification on her application, reports said.

On the contract Long submitted, she listed her actual name, before crossing it out and writing a fake name that matched the false identification she provided.

Police said Long admitted to providing false information to another club, the Platinum Horse, in Brook Park, where she said she worked for five months before her 18th birthday.

Turner presented accurate documentation, showing she turned 18 in September, reports said.

The incident Thursday wasn’t the first time Christie’s Cabaret has been the subject of controversy.

In 2006 and 2007, Brunswick City Council unsuccessfully tried to block renewal of the liquor license of the club, which is operated by J.L. Spoons Inc.

A call to Christie’s Cabaret on Tuesday afternoon seeking comment was not returned.

Contact Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.