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Outrage Over Teen Stripper Loophole

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It's legal for 16-year-olds to strip in RI.

Outrage Over Teen Stripper Loophole Providence, R.I. -- In a state where indoor prostitution is still legal, it turns out teen strippers, 16- and 17-year-olds, are taking off their clothes for money.

In Rhode Island, minors can legally dance at gentlemen's clubs. But now, there is a push to close that loophole.

After reading through the state law on exploitation for commercial use, Eyewitness News found discovered there is nothing prohibiting teens from stripping. One local group says if lawmakers don't act now, more young people could become victims of sexual abuse.

The problem came to light after police learned a 16-year-old runaway was working as a stripper at Cheaters Gentlemen's Club in Providence. The manager declined to comment, though his club has done nothing wrong. State law does not stop teenagers from stripping.

Peg Langhammer, Executive Director at Day One said, "We have numerous concerns about this."

Langhammer says allowing teens to strip puts them at risk of abuse. A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that 60 to 80 percent of strippers have been victims of sexual assault.

"It isn't until later that we allow them to drive alone and we have a law that allows them to strip in clubs? It really is disgraceful," said Langhammer.

Adult entertainment is regulated by each city or town in most states including Rhode Island. Providence Senior City Solicitor Kevin McHugh says there was never any effort by the city to keep teens off the poles.

Langhammer was not aware of the loophole until recently. She tells us she and her organization will begin pushing legislators to close the loophole.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 22, 2009, 7:09 PM

I saw this last night on the O’Reilly show and they mention that it is also not against the law for these 16 year old girls to do the inside prostitution as long as the club managers didn’t set it up for them and as long as they were home by 11:30 on a school night. WTF???

Robyns Online World July 22, 2009, 7:48 PM

This makes non sense at all! What are those people in RI thinking????

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