Iowa Asks State Supreme Court to Reconsider Nude Dancing Decision

Christopher Karwowski
DES MOINES, Iowa — A Fremont County judge ruled that nude dancing was an art and ruled in favor of an Iowa dance club owner. The state's attorney general wants that ruling reviewed.

In August of this year, Judge Timothy O'Grady found that prosecutors failed to prove that Shotgun Geniez in Hamburg, Iowa wasn't a theater.

The state's obscenity law doesn't apply to a "theater, concert hall, art center, museum or similar establishments" devoted to the arts or theatrical performances.

"The district court found that while this was primarily a strip club, that the theater exemption still applies," Iowa Assistant Attorney General Mary Tabor said. "We're just asking for a different interpretation of those exemptions."

The club, Shotgun Geniez, came under scrutiny when a 17-year-old girl climbed up on the stage and stripped off her clothes in July 2007.

Tabor said the club's owner could not be tried again due to double jeopardy. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, however, and interprets the statute differently, it could affect similar future cases in Iowa.

At the time of publication, no date has been set for the court's decision.