Pennsylvania Adult Club Owner Sues Local Government

PORTAGE, Pa.—The owner of Bodies in Motion Lounge, an adult entertainment venue in the borough of Portage, has filed a federal lawsuit against his local government for $11 million on grounds that an ordinance banning nude performances is unconstitutional.

The Tribune-Democrat reports club owner Gary Vaughn filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Johnstown against all five members of the Portage Borough Council, borough mayor Robert Fox, manager Robert Koban, and two police officers for enforcing the ordinance and violating his First Amendment rights and right to operate his adult entertainment business.

Vaughn said that it is illegal in the borough "to admit any other person to premises whereon there is exhibited a motion picture show, live performance or any other presentation which ... depicts nudity."

"This would seem to have the chilling effect of preventing anyone with guests from watching Rated R movies within the privacy of their own home," Vaughn said in the lawsuit, via The Tribune-Democrat. "They haven't attempted to enforce the ordinance.

"That doesn't mean at any point in time they can't choose to enforce it. I'm just trying to beat them to the punch. I'm trying to get a federal judge to unconstitutionalize it."

Vaughn is seeking $1 million from each defendant named in his lawsuit.

Currently, Bodies in Motion operates as a "traveling female exotic dance company performing a 3-hour show in bars, taverns, and nightclubs all across Western and Central Pennsylvania."

The actual venue opened on August 3. Vaughn says that he was not cited under the ordinance.