Block club closed for 5 days, fined for dancer-customer sex

February 15, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A strip club on Baltimore's Block has been ordered to shut down for five days and to pay a $3,300 fine after the city liquor board found that a dancer had sex with a customer while sitting on a bar stool.

The liquor board ordered the Mouse Trap on Custom House Avenue to close starting next Friday. The board also cited the bar for illegally soliciting drinks, prostitution, nudity and failure to keep employee records.

Sgt. Craig Gentile, who heads the Central District's vice unit and said he witnessed the act, said the liquor board's ruling on Thursday was one of the most severe he can recall.

The bar's lawyer, Michael May, said the liquor board commissioners "made a mistake in assessing the evidence." He said "there wasn't a shred of evidence that the bar benefited one way or another" from the alleged sex act.

May said the last violation Mouse Trap owner Louis Hershey had was in 1994 for failing to have towels in the bathroom. The lawyer said Hershey had not decided whether to appeal the ruling in court.

Gentile said police also raided the Jewell Box on East Baltimore Street early Thursday and arrested a bartender. Joseph Bukowski, 42, of the first block of Patapsco Ave., was charged with possession of cocaine.

Gentile said that arrest stems from an undercover investigation at the bar during which police officers posing as drug users bought crack cocaine. The sergeant said officers confiscated other drugs from dancers, who weren't immediately charged, and the case will be turned over to the liquor board for further review.

Pub Date: 2/15/97

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