Nuns Win Battle Against Strip Club

News: US News
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by Alexander Slavsky  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 5, 2018   

Ends years-long legal struggle

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STONE PARK, Ill. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of nuns in Illinois is rejoicing after getting an adjacent strip club to shut down for good.

The Thomas More Society, a nonprofit public interest law firm, said in a press release Friday that the battle between Club Allure and the convent of the sisters of St. Charles Borromeo in Stone Park, which began in March 2012, ended with the "notorious strip closed forever." 

In December, Stone Park Village officials took away the strip club's liquor license for the bar and restaurant stemming from its past illegal activities, protests and complaints alleging public violence, fights, mob action and battery. The decision was also based on a city ordinance banning a liquor license within 100 feet of a church.  

"Why a strip club would choose to set up shop in a residential area, much less next to a convent, completely eludes me," remarked Thomas More Society Special Counsel Joan Mannix. "We couldn't be more delighted that this club is out of business. We're pleased that the sisters and their neighbors can live without the profound negative effects created by having a strip club just feet away from their homes." 

 
Beniamino Mazzulla — the mayor and liquor control commissioner — signed the order, saying, "The Sisters' property is one contiguous campus that shall be considered as a whole for the purposes of measuring the 100-foot distance. The evidence shows that the Sisters' property includes three churches and that the Sisters' property abuts the Club Allure property." 
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Beniamino Mazzulla

The sisters' property in the Village of Melrose Park also includes a retirement home for 15 elderly sisters, a school for novices and a residence for active sisters.  

After multiple legal proceedings and community protests by the nuns, the sisters also filed noise and prostitution complaints, which brought the story of "sisters versus strip club" into the national spotlight. 

The complaints from the sisters and neighboring residents include claims of

public violence, drunkenness, and litter including empty whiskey and beer bottles, discarded contraceptive packages and products, and even used condoms evidencing illicit sexual misbehavior either in the club or about its environs, cigarette and cigar butts, used syringes, as well as loud and often unruly late-night pedestrian and vehicle traffic up and down their nearby residential streets and sidewalks.

City officials allowed the club ample time to resolve a lawsuit it had filed against the city, but the club failed to inform its neighbors and follow the rules for rezoning for adult entertainment.  

 

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