COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says a lingerie store that doubled as a strip club has been shut down.
Klein announced Monday that Columbus secured an emergency court order to vacate and shutter an east side lingerie store located at 1471 East Livingston Avenue, called “Sexxy 4 Less” that was a front for an underground strip club called “Club Sexxy.”
According to court documents, the Columbus Division of Police began covert surveillance of the premises earlier this summer, obtaining evidence of illegal drug and alcohol sales.
Klein also states that investigators also linked a July shootout at the premises to a homicide that had occurred a month earlier.
Families with children lived in apartments directly above the lingerie store.
“There were armed security guards with body armor, and even the dancers were packing heat, which tells you all you need to know about the danger this illegal club posed to employees, patrons, and the residents living there,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein. “Just last month, we shut down an illegal after-hours club two blocks away that was the scene of gang violence, shootings, murder, felonious assault, and drug dealing. Hopefully, our efforts in partnership with the Columbus Division of Police will help restore some peace of mind to the neighborhood.”
Nearby property owners praised city leaders for their efforts in shutting down the operation.
“I feel that anything that’s going to enhance the integrity of the community is good for the community here,” said Don Dickson. “I’m very happy to see the city took action. It just makes this a more stable environment for folks that have invested their time and lives in this community.”
The club operators, Lawrence Rutledge and Sharonda Dudley Rutledge, were a husband and wife team with a history of felony convictions, including aggravated robbery, felonious assault, breaking and entering, forgery, improper handling of a firearm, and aggravated drug trafficking, according to Klein.