City alleges that Allstars has been site of ‘serious and numerous criminal infractions,’ asks court to prohibit it from operating
photo by: Rochelle Valverde
The City of Lawrence is alleging that Allstars has been the site of multiple criminal infractions and is asking that the court prohibit the strip club from operating at its current location in North Lawrence.
The city filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Douglas County District Court against Lawrence Entertainment Inc., which is doing business as Lawrence Allstars The Gentleman’s Club. Topeka residents Karim V. Crim and Kenneth Troupe, the owners of Lawrence Entertainment, are named as defendants in the lawsuit, along with Riverfront Business Park, which the filing states owns the building.
The city alleges in the lawsuit that Allstars has been operating without the license required for a sexually oriented entertainment business. Though the city does not specifically state why, the city claims that Allstars is ineligible to receive such a license and requests the court to permanently prohibit the defendants from operating Allstars or any other sexually oriented entertainment business at its current location without a valid license.
“An injunction prohibiting the operation of a sexually oriented entertainment business at its current location is in the public interest,” the city states.
There are various provisions in city code that would make a business ineligible or disqualify it from being provided a city license for a sexually oriented entertainment business. Those include the business manager having certain criminal convictions within the past five years as well as noncriminal issues, such as being located within 1,000 feet of certain properties, including schools, churches, city parks and residences, as well as any businesses that sell alcohol for consumption on- or off-site.
One of the city’s allegations is that Allstars sells alcoholic beverages. The city also claims that Allstars is a sexually oriented entertainment business under city code because female dancers perform “in various stages of undress” and that Allstars has a V.I.P. room where patrons routinely receive lap dances and have other physical and sexual contact with dancers.
City Attorney Toni Wheeler said she could not specify which of the code’s provisions the city believes Allstars has violated to make it ineligible to receive a license. Wheeler said the statement is an allegation that the city will be required to prove in court, and as such she cannot offer any more information at this time.
The city’s filing does claim that Allstars has been the site of “serious and numerous criminal infractions” and gives one example of a criminal infraction that recently occurred at the business. The city alleges that on Aug. 1, 2021, Allstars was the site of a call to Lawrence police because multiple weapons were discharged on the premises.
The city claims that upon arrival, Lawrence police retrieved multiple shell casings from multiple weapons on the Allstars premises. The city states that Allstars employees initially denied officers access to the premises, and when police were eventually given access, the weapons that had been fired were not accessible or available for inspection by police officers.
“Upon information and belief, employees of Allstars collected weapons from patrons and placed them in a safe maintained by Allstars for the purpose of concealment and obstruction of justice with reference to the events of August 1, 2021,” the city states.
The city goes on to state that it was during the course of that investigation that the city determined Allstars was operating a sexually oriented entertainment business “without a valid city license.”
The Journal-World spoke to someone who identified themselves as a manager at Allstars earlier this week, and she said she did not have a response to the city’s claims and had no further information to give. No other filings had been made in the case as of Friday, and no attorney was listed for any of the defendants.