“This case is of particular concern because historically, lewdness encourages intoxication and over consumption and illegal sexual activity can encourage prostitution,” Director Michael Halfacre
TRENTON –– The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control today announced a dozen charges against a “go-go bar,” Johnny A’s Players Club in South Hackensack for a host of lewd acts and other administrative violations alleged to have been occurred in front of ABC detectives during an investigation of the establishment earlier this year.
The Division is seeking to suspend the license of the club, owned by JRV Holdings LLC, for a total of 445 days. Nine of the 12 charges stem from alleged violations of New Jersey’s lewdness regulations, which prohibit licensees from engaging in or allowing, permitting or suffering any “lewdness or immoral activity.” More specifically, the Division is alleging that during the undercover investigation, female dancers employed by Johnny A’s Players Club exposed themselves to the detectives and rubbed themselves against the detectives during private dances – two actions banned by law in licensed establishments.
“These charges should send a clear message to owners of so called ‘go-go bars’ throughout the state that flouting the law by using sexual activity to encourage patrons to consume alcohol is not going to be tolerated,” said Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre.
Following an anonymous tip, two undercover ABC detectives visited Johnny A’s Players Club on January 11. While sitting at the bar, one detective was immediately approached by a woman identifying herself as “Platinum,” who was wearing a two-piece bathing suit. Soon after, the woman exposed herself by pulling her bikini bottom out. She held it there until the detective placed a one-dollar bill in the bikini bottom. This public exposure by the employee is a violation of the Division’s lewdness regulations. “Platinum” then asked the detective to buy her a drink, a request the detective obliged. Employees of a licensed establishment are prohibited from soliciting alcoholic beverages from patrons.
The detective was then asked if he wanted a lap dance, an offer which he accepted. “Platinum” proceeded to press her body against the seated detective in several different positions and again exposed her genitals and then her breasts.
While personal dances are allowed in the state, “audience participation” otherwise known as “touching,” is prohibited during those dances. The regulations also ban woman from dancing topless or bottomless at establishments with an alcohol license.
The second detective in this investigation had a similar experience at the bar with an employee named “Vicki” and later with an employee named “Jessica”. The women performed illegal dances and solicited the purchase of an alcoholic beverage.
A second undercover visit to the establishment 10 days later yielded similar violations and brought the total charges to 12.