Police investigating underage dancing at Salem strip club

Police investigating underage dancing at Salem strip club »Play Video

SALEM, Ore. - Police are trying to find out if the staff at a strip club knowingly allowed a 17-year-old girl to dance naked.

The girl's mother and police aren't the only ones demanding answers. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is also investigating and plans to cite the strip club with at least one violation for allowing the girl to dance.

Video surveillance from Presley's Playhouse Cabaret shows the underage girl stripping three times this month.

The girl's mother complained to the state and to Salem police after she said her daughter came home appearing to be under the influence of alcohol. And when she checked her backpack, the mother found tall, platform shoes.

Employees at the strip club told KATU News Wednesday they have nothing to say right now. Police said the owners are out of town and they plan to interview them next week. Police said the owners told them they weren't involved in hiring the girl.

Lt. Steve Birr, with the Salem Police Department, said the police investigation is focused on the club's hiring process and whether the staff checked her identification or mislead them about her age.

If the staff knew how old she was and they let her dance anyway, that's displaying a child for purposes of sexual gratification, which is a Class A felony.

"If there was somebody that knowingly did it – you have to have some knowledge that the person is underage," said Birr.

It's not the first time Presley's has come under scrutiny. Angry neighbors complained to KATU News when it first opened four years ago. Four months later the club's owner, Presley, was recorded on home video mooning passing drivers.

Many neighbors have lobbied to shut down the strip club but without success. Now, the underage dancer investigation has put Presley's under fire once again.

"My understanding is that they take photocopies of IDs of dancers, said Birr. "(But) in this case the photocopier supposedly was not working."

According to the OLCC, the fact it can prove the 17-year-old danced at the strip club guarantees at least one citation, but it doesn't know the specifics of the citation or the impact it will have on the club's ability to serve alcohol.