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Strip Club Owner Gets 16 Years in PrisonBy: Carlos Martinez (Courtesy of AVN.com)
Paso, Texas – A strip club owner was sentenced to 16 years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine after her conviction on promoting prostitution.
Phyllis Woodall, 50, owner of the Naked Harem, showed little emotion last Thursday when she was sentenced, the El Paso Times reported. Woodall had been found guilty on Oct. 20 of aggravated promotion of prostitution at her strip club.
Michael Gibson, Woodall’s attorney said he was shocked at the jury’s verdict, citing the case’s complicated legal issues.
Gibson said he was considering filing a motion of jury misconduct, since jurors took very little time in deciding on a verdict.
Assistant District Attorney Rick Locke said that Woodall and other club employees knew that dancers at the club were having sex for money and that they were actively encouraging that conduct because it was profitable to the club.
But Gibson told jurors that Woodall did not promote prostitution and that if there was such activity going on, she did not know about and that it was promoted by some of the dancers.
During the trial, the defense called on seven current and former dancers at the club, all of whom said they only danced and did not have sex with customers.
Jeannie Coutta, the club’s co-owner told AVN.com, that Woodall was seldom at the club and that the managers in charge of there implicated Woodall to save themselves from being prosecuted on harsher charges.
Coutta said that the city had been seeking to close the club for some time with several police raids.
The club’s former manager Jacob Crumb testified that he overheard Woodall tell dancers that they should perform oral sex if they wanted to make money. He added that about 90 percent of the club’s dancers engaged in sex with customers and that Woodall was aware of it.
Crumb’s wife, former dancer Molly Crumb, admitted that she had sex several times in the club’s private room as did other dancers. Moreover, she said Woodall told the dancers that if they used condoms in the private room, that they should clean up after themselves.
Several patrons also testified they also had sex with dancers at the club, with one man saying he spent $1,800 in one night, while another ran a $10,000 bill on his charge card for several visits to the club.