A strip club in Miami Beach — the only strip club, as a matter of fact, on South Beach — has been shut down for six months while police investigate the horrifying claims that a 13-year-old girl was forced to dance in the club for money.
According to the Miami Herald, City Manager Jimmy Morales revoked Club Madonna's business tax receipt and certificate of use for six months, explaining that the club poses "an actual threat to the health, welfare and safety of our community." Earlier this week, Miami Beach police arrested three people on charges that they forced a runaway teen to prostitute herself and subsequently dance under the name "Peaches" at Club Madonna, something that club owner Leroy Griffith said he had no knowledge of. In an interview with Miami's local CBS affiliate, Griffith was asked point-blank what he thought about the allegations, and chose the following totally believable and not-at-all-flimsy excuse to absolve himself of any responsibility for human trafficking: "I was on a cruise. I wasn't here and I'll talk to you here all tomorrow."
Cool story, bro. Griffith has contended that Morales shut down Club Madonna for another reason that has nothing at all to do with a police investigation or public safety — Griffith recently sued the city for a liquor license, and he is right now apparently at loggerheads with the Miami Beach's municipal machinery. The club's lawyer has characterized the shutdown as "tactical, malicious, and vindictive," but Morales was quick to defend the decision to revoke Club Madonna's certificate of use: "A 13 year-old girl dances at his club. I'm responding to that. If that's tactical, vindictive then I don't know the meanings of those words."