The “penumbras and emanations” theory of jurisprudence appears to have taken hold in the heartland:
Nude dancing is still an art form in Iowa, at least at a strip club in the tiny town of Hamburg.
The Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday dismissed the state’s request for a review of the issue. The request followed a judge’s 2008 decision that Clarence Judy, then-owner of Shotgun Geniez, didn’t violate the state’s public indecent exposure law.
Judy was charged after a 17-year-old girl stripped onstage in the southwestern Iowa club in 2007.
Iowa law makes it a criminal offense to allow minors to perform a live act intended to arouse patrons. But Fremont County Judge Timothy O’Grady ruled that the strip club was protected because the law doesn’t apply to theaters, art centers, or other venues devoted to the arts or theatrical performances.
O’Grady said prosecutors failed to prove the club wasn’t a theater.
Shane Vander Hart at Caffeinate Thoughts was shocked that the judge would confuse a strip club with an “art center,” but I felt obligated to remind him:
It happens all the time, Shane. Guys innocently set out to find the local art center, accidentally stumble into a strip club, and spend several hours stuffing dollars into the dancers’ garters before realizing their mistake.
Perhaps this has even happened to Judge O’Grady a time or two.