HOUSTON – The Harris County Attorney and the City of Houston filed a lawsuit Wednesday to have a local strip club shut down.
The lawsuit alleges that the owners, management and employees of Treasures – located in the 5600 block of Westheimer – knowingly tolerate drug activity, organized crime and the human trafficking of young women for the purpose of prostitution.
The lawsuit further alleges that the club benefits financially from its participation in illicit activities.
"The Houston Police Department has made numerous arrests for prostitution and drugs," said Houston City Attorney David Feldman. "However, the evidence of human trafficking makes this place especially abhorrent. Law enforcement efforts alone have not stopped the habitual criminal activity occurring there."
"Law enforcement officers tell us that just arresting the criminals doesn’t solve the problem. When a place allows criminal acts to continue, criminals keep coming back. You must take away the habitat to fix the problem," County Attorney Vince Ryan said.
Prosecutors said there have been more than five gang-related incidents – some involving prostitution and drugs – at Treasures in the past year.
More than 30 crimes have occurred there over the past four years – evidence, the lawsuit alleges, that club owners and employees knowingly permit those acts.
City and county officials want the club to be declared a public nuisance, forcing it to close its doors.