Kokomo leaders keeping eye on strippers, push for licensing of exotic dancers

City has 5 adult clubs

KOKOMO, Ind. - Kokomo leaders are taking on the people in their community who take it off.

A City Council committee met Monday to discuss plans to license adult entertainers who perform at Kokomo's five adults clubs.

City Councilman Bob Cameron said his city has a reputation as the place to go for adult entertainment, and he is not proud of that image.

"It's immoral, I don't care what you say," Cameron said.

Cameron said the council wants to make it difficult for the clubs to stay open, and they want to send a message that "big brother is looking over them."

"From a Constitutional standpoint, we can’t close them," he said. "We can make it hard on them to live up to what’s supposed to be law."

The club Fantasy Girls didn't withstand the scrutiny; it's closed and facing demolition in 30 days. Code enforcement officials deemed the building unsafe.

Leaders say the problem with having five adult clubs is the illegal activity they mask.

"I know personally, I've had people tell me that one of their daughters ended up there. She's only 17, but they allowed it, and that's where we need to get the licensing involved," said Cameron.

Kokomo councilwoman Cynthia Sanders said she is concerned about the role Kokomo's strip clubs might play in human trafficking.

"Agencies, a lot of times, they get girls and they move them from one city to another city to another city to perform, and so they’re involved in human trafficking," Sanders said.

Sanders said she's concerned that the women working at adult clubs have been given drugs and forced to perform against their will, and she added that sexually oriented businesses increase the likelihood of other types of harm coming to the community.

"We know that when they’re involved in that -- those types of activities -- that there are broken homes a lot of times, there's other things involved with drugs, pornography, many things that harm our community," she said. "Certainly I don't condone and I don't believe that sexually orientated businesses are a good thing. I think they're negative. I think that they hurt people. They hurt everybody... it's our responsibility to try to do something."

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