Suburban Chicago nuns renew fight against strip club
CHICAGO (AP) - A group of suburban Chicago nuns who are trying to shut down a strip club next to their convent say several of the club's exotic dancers are involved in prostitution and drug use.
The Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo filed a revised lawsuit last month against Club Allure in Stone Park, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In the first lawsuit filed nearly two years ago, the nuns claimed the club violated zoning laws due to its proximity to a residential area, and its noises and signs were a nuisance to the neighborhood. They later amended their complaint to include more detailed allegations after a judge dismissed the first lawsuit.
The revised complaint includes details of what an investigator who posed as a patron experienced when he visited the club almost a dozen times over a nearly two-year period. It alleges that a dancer offered him sex outside of the club for $250.
The lawsuit alleges that there is lewd and illegal activity happening at the club and that the club is generally a public nuisance to the neighborhood.
Residents say the club has brought fighting, loud music, public urination, speeding cars and vandalism to the area.
"The sisters, who used to pray while tending their garden in their backyard, now must do so literally in the shadow of the club," the filing states.
The nuns said in the complaint that they started locking the convent's doors during Mass after a 19-year-old drunken man walked in and disrupted an early morning service.
The owners of Club Allure deny the allegations. They released a statement Thursday describing the new filing as "false" and predicted it also would be dismissed.
They said the nuns are trying "to enforce their own version of morality and close down a licensed business conducting legal operations in an area specifically zoned for that use."
An attorney representing Stone Park said the village is "skeptical" about most of the allegations in the new complaint.