Judge orders Harem nightclub to close for 1 year


UPDATE @ 10:21 a.m. (Oct. 31)

The Harem has been ordered closed for 12 months after the judge granted a preliminary injunction. The local sheriff’s office will block off the parking lot.

EARLIER REPORT

An Ohio Investigative Unit enforcement agent detailed how he was propositioned by a dancer during an investigation of The Harem, according to testimony Monday during the resumption of an injunction hearing.

»RELATED: Agent describes sex, drug transactions at The Harem

The undercover agent said a dancer offered to go to a more private area and perform a specific sex act that other smaller girls didn’t want to do, according to the agent.

The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office is asking Judge Dennis Adkins to grant an injunction declaring the business a public nuisance and closing it for a year after a 9-month investigation alleged several acts of drug sales and soliciting for prostitution.

»RELATED: The Harem shut down, 11 indicted on sex, drugs, food stamp charges

During cross-examination, defense attorney Michael Murray noted that most of the drugs and prostitution charges were against four women and that a couple of them were terminated during the January-September 2017 time frame of the investigation.

»RELATED: What we know now about 3 Harrison Twp. strip clubs raided in drugs, sex crimes investigation

Many of Murray’s questions to the agent were about whether he or the other undercover agent ever made The Harem’s management aware of the illegal activity.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

The prosecution rested just before 11 a.m. Monday. The defense called its first witness — Buckeye Association of Club Executives executive director Greg Flaig — at 11:20 a.m.

Over a defense objection, Adkins said he would give judicial notice to the criminal indictment against the club’s personnel. Adkins also denied a defense motion for a directed verdict in favor of the club.

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Heck’s office said criminal activity at the business at 5825 North Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp. between January and September 2017 included prostitution, drug trafficking and trading of food stamps for drugs or sex.

Prosecutors said undercover agents witnessed multiple liquor violations, prostitution, and felony drug trafficking, including marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, carfentanil and Oxycodone.

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