Emergency bill aimed at Body Talk State to forbid liquor, nude dancing at Body Talk club.

April 05, 1991|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Evening Sun Staff

Gov. William Donald Schaefer was expected to sign into law today an emergency bill that could put the controversial Body Talk billiards club in Baltimore County, which features nude dancing, out of business.

And county police have indicated that they will immediately begin enforcing the law.

Del. Richard Rynd, D-Balto. Co., who sponsored the bill, indicated yesterday that Schaefer has responded to his urging to sign the bill into law and will do so today.

The law, which is aimed at making life difficult for the controversial Rockdale establishment, would prohibit Body Talk patrons from bringing alcoholic beverages with them to watch the nude dancing. The club has no liquor license.

Rynd said yesterday that as soon as the bill is signed, he is going to fax a copy of the law to county police and urge them to begin enforcement immediately.

"I'm going to be calling them up as soon as [the governor] signs it," said Rynd.

E. Jay Miller, county police spokesman, said the department had not seen the legislation yet, but added police would begin enforcement immediately.

"If [the governor] signs it and it's immediate, we'll certainly react immediately," said Miller.

Rynd sought the legislation after he received numerous complaints from Liberty Road area residents upset with Body Talk. The residents claimed that the club is too close to private residences and complained about rowdy and drunken patrons, who urinated in public.

Dominic Stenti, the owner of Body Talk, could not be reached for comment.

Stenti, who opened the club last May, has so far successfully fended off the county's efforts to shut him down.

He has appealed several District Court convictions of building code and zoning violations to Circuit Court and has paid more than $15,000 in fines.

One of the newer wrinkles to the case came last week when Harold I. Glaser, one of Stenti's attorneys, filed a defense motion claiming that the nude dancing at Body Talk is a protected form of free expression under the First Amendment.

According to Rynd, the new law closes a loophole in state law that prohibits total nude dancing in establishments with liquor licenses. Because Body Talk doesn't have a liquor license, it has been able to feature nude dancing. Customers bring their own liquor.

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