Strip Club Hires Kidnapped and Assaulted 14-Year-Old Girl, Then Sues Her

This story comes straight out of the WTF files.  A 14-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped, sexually assaulted numerous times, and forced to perform at a strip club.  Everyone involved agrees that the girl, who again is 14, did indeed perform there.  There is absolutely no debate about that particular aspect at all, in fact.  And yet, somehow the strip club is now suing the 14-year-old and her parents.

A strip club in Texas that hired a 14-year-old as an exotic dancer says it was swindled and is suing the seventh-grader and her parents.

The girl allegedly exposed her breasts while working at Cheetah Club in Corpus Christi, a violation of state law. Alan Yaffe, the club’s attorney, said the club didn’t know the girl was a minor and disputed the alleged sequence of events that led the teenager to work there in the first place.

“She came (into the club) with 6-inch stiletto heels and a miniskirt and looked just like a model from a Miss America’s contest,” Yaffe said.

Authorities say Leslie Campbell, 48, kidnapped the girl in San Antonio in March, took her to Corpus Christi and sexually assaulted her over the course of a week. He then allegedly gave her a false identification and forced her to strip at the club.

Yaffe called the story bogus, and the club is suing Campbell, the girl and her parents for unspecified damage in a lawsuit filed last week. It also wants a judge to declare that the club didn’t intend to hire a minor.

“There was no real kidnapping,” Yaffe told the San Antonio Express-News. “We’re the victims here, sir. My clients are the victims.”

The club and their lawyers, of course, are claiming that the girl looked “very mature” and so the club couldn’t possibly have known.  Even state officials are refuting that claim by stating that the girl clearly looks to be her actual age.  This, of course, is very likely true.

What seems to be missing though is the fact that even if she looked 25, it’s still the club’s responsibility to ensure that they do not have minors working in their clubs.  When did “she looked older” become an excuse?  (And when did “look at what she was wearing!” become the same as “she looked older”?  Nice attempt at slut-shaming, though.)  It’s not an excuse.  Just like “I thought that we were following the fire safety code” and “it seemed like we paid our taxes” aren’t excuses either.  Except, you know, this version involves an exploited child.

And then there are those exceedingly relevant charges of kidnapping, assault and forced work at the club.  What’s most interesting of all is that Leslie Campbell, the man alleged to have kidnapped and assaulted the girl and forced her to work at the club, is also being sued.  It would seem that if the club actually did have the grounds to sue anyone (and I don’t think they do — again, they’re the ones who illegally “hired” the girl), he would be the correct person.  And yet, they also deny the sequence of events that led to the girl being hired by the club!

So, really, Cheetah Club, what is it?  Did the girl seek “employment” at your establishment of her own free will, thus making her subject to your lawsuit, or did Campbell actually force her to work there, thus making him the one to blame?  You can’t have it both ways.

Unless, of course, you think that a kidnapped, assaulted and essentially enslaved girl is actually to blame for her the crimes committed against her.  Which is precisely what this whole thing reeked of from the very start.

0 thoughts on “Strip Club Hires Kidnapped and Assaulted 14-Year-Old Girl, Then Sues Her

  1. preying mantis

    It seems to me like you’d have to be really committed to being a weapons-grade asshole to attempt to demonstrate more than a) her identification appeared perfectly legitimate, b) the identification appeared to be hers, and c) her appearance was not such that failing to investigate either a or b more fully constituted negligence. And that would be in response to the presumed state investigation of you hiring a fucking fourteen-year-old as a stripper.

  2. SunlessNick

    The club and their lawyers, of course, are claiming that the girl looked “very mature” and so the club couldn’t possibly have known.

    As you say, it’s their responsibility to know.

  3. Claire

    The US’ human trafficking legislation (TVPA) clearly defines severe forms of trafficking in persons as: 1) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion 2) sex trafficking in which the person induced to perform a commercial sex act has not attained 18 years of age, or 3) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjugation to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

    The above case seems to fit the definition of human trafficking, and under the newest version of the law passed, traffickers are held accountable if the victim is under age 18 and the perpetrator could reasonably attain that information. So to the club’s point that they couldn’t have known her age because she “looked mature” would not hold up under a trafficking case.

  4. karak

    I’m currently filling out job apps right now, and so far, I have to tell them my social security number, date of birth, three people to be my references, the last ten years of my working life, my address, my phone number (home and cell) and the address, number, and relation of an emergency contact.

    I gotta wonder how the fuck the hiring practices work in Texas.

  5. preying mantis

    “I gotta wonder how the fuck the hiring practices work in Texas.”

    It’s a strip club. I don’t think the run-of-the-mill ones tend to care about the last ten years of your working life. If the club in question was using the same sleazy practices some of the clubs around here do (dancers aren’t employees, they’re “independent contractors”–with all the minimum employee rights that arrangement entails), the whole of the hiring process might have been judging her looks, checking her (fake) ID, making a copy of her (fake) ID for their files, and asking her to sign a contract.

  6. karak

    I’m filling out forms for McDonalds with that kind of info. One would hope strip clubs would be just as thorough as Mickey Ds.

  7. Butterflywings

    You see, ‘she looked older’ wouldn’t fly as an excuse if she had been sold alcohol.
    My local shops have signs saying ‘Think 25’ and warning sternly not to even think about buying alcohol, and that you WILL be ID-ed if you look under 25.

    So yeah. They have to actually BE old enough. That means ID, and not obviously fake ID either.

    Of course, this would be assuming proprieters of strip clubs actually cared about their workers, which they don’t.

  8. Renee

    When I read this I went into shock. They have some nerve charging a kidnapping victim. Clearly whatever action she took was against her will. They are simply not will to acknowledge the fact that they hired her. I further don’t believe that a 14 year old girl could pass for a 22 year old woman. Shame on the club owners and I hope the judge throws the book at them.

  9. Pingback: Tati Tuesdays: Week of June 23 – June 29 « A Lesbian and a Scholar

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