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Strip Club Patrons May Be on Web

June 28, 2000

WELLFORD, S.C. (AP) _ A family advocate group wants to post photos of strip club patrons’ license plates on the Internet in an attempt to clean up what has been dubbed ``Spartanburg County’s Red Light District.″

Henry Lord Jr., president of the Carolina Family Alliance, said Tuesday that volunteers will stand on public property while taking photos of vehicles in area strip club parking lots.

``We are going to be visiting different businesses on different days so people visiting these places won’t know that we are there,″ Lord said. ``They are going to have to just take their chance with the (camera) shutter.″

After the car tags are posted on the alliance’s Web site, the group plans to use them to track the vehicles’ owners and contact them by phone or mail.

The alliance says it wants to encourage those frequenting sex businesses to seek professional help, as well as to notify their family and friends of the potential danger they may pose to loved ones.

The alliance has used license plates to track strip club patrons previously, Lord said, but new stalking laws have made the process more difficult.

Richard Seamon, a constitutional law expert at the University of South Carolina, said it would be difficult for customers to prove that the alliance’s operation is an invasion of privacy.

``Everything is basically going on in public,″ Seamon said. ``If it weren’t the alliance, it could theoretically be a newspaper reporter.″

But Andy Johnston, an attorney for one local strip club, said Lord’s actions may violate state and federal laws by interfering with business.

``This type of conduct may result in significant civil liability for Mr. Lord, his organization and any other participants,″ Johnston said.

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On the Net: http://www.familyalliance.org

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