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Cops: Owners of Janesville, Wisconson strip club promoting prostitution

JANESVILLE, Wis. — Investigators are sifting through evidence to prove that a Janesville strip-club owner allowed his dancers to act as prostitutes and recorded the sexual acts between the dancers and the club’s patrons.

Forty-three law-enforcement officers from Rock and Winnebago counties, Janesville police and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation participated in a search Tuesday of the Wisconsin businesses and South Beloit homes of James and Rebecca Halbach, [pictured] 7101 Manchester Drive, and Kevin Weaver, 7858 Prairie Hill Road.

Police believe DVDs they found contain sex acts between customers and dancers at Screamin’ Mee Mees, 402 W. Delavan Drive in Janesville. The club is owned by the Halbachs; Weaver is its manager.

Janesville Deputy Police Chief David Moore said undercover officers began an investigation after a tip late last month that sex was for sale at the club, which boasts full nudity. The sex acts were recorded and broadcast over an Internet link to computers at the Halbach and Weaver homes; Halbach’s other strip club, Diamond Jim’s & The Isabella Queen; and the clubs’ corporate offices, Pinnacle Inc., both in Janesville.

Neither Weaver nor the Halbachs could be reached for comment.

“We have a long investigation ahead of us,” Moore said. “We confiscated seven computer servers at the corporate offices, and each of those needs to be reviewed by state forensic specialists. We have numerous interviews to conduct, and I can tell you that arrests are pending.”

According to court documents filed late Tuesday in Rock County Circuit Court, the informant, an employee of Screamin’ Mee Mees, said prostitution was occurring in the club and in cars outside.

Court documents indicate that Halbach would monitor the sexual acts at the club from his home, and employees knew Halbach watched what was going on at the club.

When officers conducted a routine “walk-through” of the club, Halbach, who was at home, called and asked an employee what police were doing there, an employee told police during the investigation.

Patrons also were aware of the surveillance, police said.

Halbach, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Janesville City Council last year, also owns numerous bars in Rock County. He recently donated $10,000 to the Janesville Jaycees to bail out its struggling fireworks fund. Without his donation, the club’s Fourth of July fireworks and festival were in jeopardy.

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