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Treasures, a strip club which has operated on Westheimer since 1995, is under fire from the city of Houston and Harris County for allegedly allowing everything from drug sales to prostitution to human trafficking to go on inside.
The county and city attorneys filed a suit Wednesday declaring Treasures a nuisance and seeking to have a permanent injunction against Treasures based on police reports of arrests made at the strip club dating back to 2008.
The filing alleges that 5647 Westheimer is the location of human trafficking, habitual prostitution and drug activity where owners, management and employees engage in "gang related organized criminal activities that constitute a public nuisance." The petition lists 40 offenses, mostly prostitution, documented at the club over the last four years. How many of those cases resulted in charges or convictions is unclear.
Treasures attorney Al Van Huff said the club is being targeted in retaliation for challenging the city's sexually oriented business ordinance and because the city has not persuaded the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to cancel or block the renewal of the establishment's liquor license.
"Now they're trying a different tactic to achieve the same result," he said. "We deny that prostitution and human trafficking and narcotics violations are occurring on Treasures' premises."
Ryan and City Attorney David Feldman are seeking a permanent injunction, which would close Treasures for one year. This is the first time officials have used the Texas nuisance law against Treasures.
Similar legal strategies were used to shut down the Penthouse strip club, also on West¬heimer, in 2009 for a year and to clear local apartment complexes of gangs and drug dealing.