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Miami Beach strip club where child worked shuttered by city

Jan. 11, 2014 at 3:21 PM

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Miami Beach city officials said they suspended the operating license of a strip club where an underage girl was reportedly working as a dancer.

The permits for Club Madonna were suspended for at least six months while the city investigated the arrest of three people who allegedly forced a 13-year-old runaway to work at the fully nude club.

An attorney for the club called the action "overreaching," but City Manager Jimmy Morales told reporters it was a necessary step in heading off human trafficking in Miami Beach.

"If it is so easy for human traffickers to kidnap a 13-year-old girl and bring her to the club without anyone noticing, how can we be sure that this is not going to happen again to other young girls in our community?" Morales asked.

The Miami Herald said the girl was a habitual runaway who met up with the three defendants who unsuccessfully tried to force her into prostitution and then later got her into the dancer rotation at Club Madonna. Police said the club management did not ask the girl for proof of her age.

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