Exotic Dancers Stripped of Big Settlement?
Exotic dancers don't generally elicit a lot of sympathy, but most people would agree that it's more than a little inappropriate -- and illegal -- for a group of them to be strip-searched in front of 20 male police officers. A Florida judge ruled that the officers involved were out of line, but granted the women what could be considered an extremely low settlement.
It all came about because of a drug raid at Biggins Gentleman's Club in Daytona Beach Shores, where undercover police had reportedly conducted controlled drug purchases. An "all persons search warrant" was issued for the club, and four dancers and two female bartenders were subjected to strip searches, while 20 male officers and the city's public safety director watched. No arrest warrants were issued for any of these women.
Meanwhile, the club's patrons, the vast majority of whom were male, were only given patdowns, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Under Florida law, strip-searches must be conducted by a person of the same sex and "any observer shall be of the same gender as the arrested person," the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Judge Mary E. Scriven settled the Federal lawsuit by awarding the six women $195,000 in damages. But most of that will go to pay attorney fees, said the lawyer who represented them, Brett Hartley of New Smyrna Beach. He added that the dancers and bartenders will likely end up with about $5,000 each.
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