There's the old saying that fifteen can get you twenty, but in Dallas, Texas, it seems that twelve will get you no punishment whatsoever. Diamonds Cabaret, a Dallas-area strip club, is keeping its license even after it was discovered that the business employed a 12-year-old stripper for two weeks last year. According to Newsweek, the sixth grade runaway had no place to go, so she shacked up with David Bell, 22, and Diamond dancer Demonica Abron, 28. At first, Bell tried to fashion the tween into a prostitute, but she refused. So he took her to the Diamond Cabaret, a place described by Newsweek as located "in a dilapidated office park next to a business that rents hot tubs by the hour."
Newsweek continues: "...the girl lasted about a week and a half in November, working the stage amid flashing multicolored strobe lights and a pounding hip-hop soundtrack laced with obscene lyrics. She made as little as $100 a night, she told the authorities, and gave all her profits after paying the club fee to Bell and Abron, her 'caretakers.'"
David Bell, gentleman that he is, allegedly made the girl perform oral sex on him repeatedly; she eventually escaped while he was sleeping. Though Bell is now in jail (Abron is currently out on bail), the case has caused an uproar around Dallas, because officials have no legal means to punish the Diamond Cabaret. "City ordinances do not set a minimum age for dancers in adult cabarets," reports Newsweek, adding that adult cabarets "are subject to fewer restrictions than escort services, which are also regulated by the city." Essentially, here's no way to even suspend the club's license for a modicum of time although lawmakers are attempting to pass ordinances so that there are some repercussions for gentleman's clubs breaking the law.
Lost Girl [Newsweek]