I-Team: Push to ban private booths at Providence strip clubs

Following a NBC 10 I-Team hidden camera investigation into prostitution taking place in three Providence strip clubs, Mayor Angel Taveras vowed to take action.

He introduced an ordinance that would ban private booths.

The I-Team investigation found that the prostitution at the Cadillac Lounge, Club Desire and Club Fantasies, was being conducted in small private booths in the clubs.

Now the chairman of the Providence Board of Licenses wants to introduce a similar ordinance.

Chairman Andrew Annaldo wants to introduce an ordinance that would require all public spaces in an adult entertainment club to be at least 1,000 square feet in size. The requirement would eliminate the small private booths.

"This would do away with the private booth activity so transparency will be evident," Annaldo said.

A spokesman for Taveras says he's pleased that the Licensing Board is supporting the mayor's efforts.

"The mayor also believes we need a 'one strike' policy for all adult entertainment clubs," said David Ortiz.

The "one strike" policy would place a club's license in jeopardy if police found just one incident involving prostitution or underage employment.

The Licensing Board has come under criticism for only suspending the license of Cheaters Gentleman's Club. Police found a 15-year-old girl there who was working as a dancer and a prostitute.

Both proposals by the mayor and the Licensing Board would have to gain the approval of the City Council.

Both the mayor and the chairman of the Licensing Board cite a decision at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a ban on private booths.

Taveras plans to bring in a legal expert to testify before the ordinance committee to show that a ban on private booths in adult entertainment clubs is constitutional.

Annaldo's term expires in January.