By Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma
Many workers in strip clubs are well-paid, hard-working women supporting their families and using the extra income from the club to take control of their lives. Many clubs treat their workers fairly. Many customers are polite and appropriate.
But not all.
If you have been taken advantage of at a strip club, please keep reading and contact us.
Some strip club workers are subjected to pressure from inappropriate customers and greedy managers. You may be embarrassed by the work or need to keep it secret from certain people in your life. Some clubs are even thinly disguised brothels and workers who have sex with customers may feel they can get arrested just for doing their jobs.
But customers and strip club owners are not allowed to use that vulnerability to get you to do things you don’t want to do. A club customer can’t remove his penis and make you touch it without your consent. You don’t have to let anyone touch your breasts and you cannot be fired for refusing. If someone pressures you to go farther than you want, that may be a federal crime and a basis to sue the person or the club for damages.
Using force, fraud or coercion to induce someone to engage in a commercial sex act is sex trafficking under a federal law called the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (“TVPA”). It’s wrong and illegal to coerce someone into having sex for money and you can sue for it under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1595, which creates a civil remedy. You may be able to sue even if it happened up to ten years ago. The definition of “force, fraud, and coercion” is broad—in one case, falsely promising someone a movie role was enough to constitute “fraud.”
If you feel you have been wrongfully induced to have sex (or even engage in inappropriate touching) in a work setting, you should contact a lawyer right away. The consultation will be entirely confidential; you won’t be prosecuted for prostitution. Lawyers with experience in civil TVPA cases will typically represent you at no up-front cost, receiving payment only if the case is won in court or settled. If you were assaulted at a strip club in New York like Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club, Rick’s Cabaret New York, Vivid Cabaret, Cheetah’s Gentlemen’s Club, Satin Dolls NYC, Platinum Dolls Gentlemen’s Club, Show Palace Gentlemen’s Club NYC, Sugardaddy’s Gentlemen’s Club, Sapphire New York, HQ KONY Gentlemen’s Club, Hustler Club NYC, or Scores, please contact us. We will be happy to assess your case at no charge.
You deserve to be heard. If you were coerced, defrauded, or forced, you also deserved to be paid for the damage that was caused.