Cheetah's shut down by the city - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cheetah's shut down by the city

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Superior Court judge Friday confirmed her prior ruling to revoke the nude entertainment license of Cheetah's, the Kearny Mesa strip club, over numerous violations of San Diego's municipal code.

The decision by Judge Randa Trapp, if upheld after appeals, would lead to the club's closure. Cheetah's lawyer Steve Hoffman said he is likely to appeal, so a shutdown isn't expected anytime soon.

The judge said the evidence showed "numerous and continuing violations" of provisions that prohibit patrons from touching and fondling dancers, and require the dancers to remain 6 feet away from the customers. That comes despite numerous warnings to club management and owner Suzanne Coe, according to the judge.

Gerry Braun, spokesman for the City Attorney's Office, told reporters that the club won't be able to operate without the license.

"As the judge said, Cheetah's will be shut down," Braun said.

Hoffman argued that the city regulations don't come with clear standards for a business that features an estimated 100,000 dances annually.

"Is one too much? Is five too much?" Hoffman asked rhetorically about an excusable number of offenses. "There's really no standard."

He also argued that the revocation was in retaliation for the club's dancers suing the San Diego Police Department over a series of raids early last year. The women contend they were held against their will without a warrant or probable cause that a crime had been committed.

The judge said there was no evidence of retaliation on the part of the city.

Braun said the police investigation started one year before the lawsuit was filed. Several other strip clubs operate lawfully in San Diego, he said.

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