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Former strip club owner gets probation for underage dancer

ELYRIA, Ohio- www.morningjournal.com — A former strip club owner accused of allowing an underage girl to dance at his club has been sentenced to two years of community control sanctions.

David Shapiro, 44, former owner of Club 57 in Elyria, was sentenced by Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge Raymond Ewers yesterday after he pleaded guilty in July to attempted child endangering.

As part of his plea agreement, Shapiro agreed not to own or operate any establishment that serves alcohol in Ohio.

Shapiro and his attorney Doug Merrill declined comment after yesterday’s sentencing.

Shapiro was accused of letting a 15-year-old girl dance semi-nude and nude at the club on Oct. 25 and 26, 2008, according to prosecutors.

Since his plea, Club 57 has closed its doors following the settlement of a civil lawsuit filed against Shapiro and D and I Entertainment LLC by the city of Elyria.

The city originally filed a lawsuit against Shapiro in March 2006, when city officials claimed the gentleman’s club did not have proper zoning.

Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Betleski later ruled the club could operate as long as there would not be any nude dancing. His ruling required dancers to have their genitals covered and breasts be covered with an opaque material, according to Elyria’s assistant law director Michael Szekely.

However, police found dancers did not have covering on their breasts, which prompted the city to file against the club and Shapiro for contempt of court. This then led to the agreement for Club 57 to close.

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