Officials give strip clubs deadline to get rid of dancers under - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Officials give strip clubs deadline to get rid of dancers under 21

The silhouette of a stripper lures patrons into a club on Bourbon Street.  (Fox 8 Photo/FILE) The silhouette of a stripper lures patrons into a club on Bourbon Street. (Fox 8 Photo/FILE)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Louisiana law enforcement agents tell exotic dancers younger than 21 that they have until Oct. 1 before they will be escorted off stage. 

"We are giving [club owners] a grace period, because they had not gotten rid of a lot of their dancers," said state Alcohol Tobacco Control Director Juana Marine-Lombard.

State lawmakers changed the age requirement for exotic dancers this past legislative session in an effort to combat human trafficking. The law caused some confusion for those in the industry in New Orleans. 
    
The city recently passed an ordinance similar to the state law. It allows dancers under 21 who are already employed at a gentlemen's club to continue working in the same capacity, but the state law does not give dancers or club owners that option.

On Monday, State Police and ATC met with strip club owners in New Orleans. 
    
"It gives them about 45 days to try and make sure they can place them in other jobs and help them in other areas. I think that was the main part of this meeting to make sure that was clear," Col. Mike Edmonson said.  

Troopers and ATC agents will enforce the new law. 
    
Clubs and dancers can both be cited for any potential violation of underage dancing. Authorities say fines and penalties will vary depending on a club's and dancer's prior history. 

State officials said they did not know exactly how many exotic dancers the new law would impact. 

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