Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo, P.A.

BSO raids Athena’s Forum and Trapeze II

A little over four years ago, the Broward Sheriff’s Office raided Athena’s Forum and Trapeze II.  Some of the deputies came dressed in normal attire and shortly thereafter undressed into towels and in some cases just their birthday suits.  Other officers came in sometime later.  These officers were dressed in black BSO T-shirts and wearing black masks along with carrying weapons.

When the second set of deputies came in, between Athena’s Forum and Trapeze II over fifty law abiding citizens with no criminal past had effectually been put under arrest by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.  Their crime, lewdness.  Eventually, almost all had their charges dropped.  Either by the State dropping the charges or ultimately by the Courts dismissing them.

Now, five of these couples have filed suit against the Broward Sheriff’s Office claiming that their rights were violated because they were falsely arrested.  The issue in these civil suits does not deal with whether they committed the crime of lewdness, it has already been interpreted under State law that they did not, but rather whether the arrests were justified or violated their due process rights.   We will certainly keep you informed of how these cases progress as they go through, not the criminal, but the civil court system.

Benjamin & Aaronson, P.A. represents some of those who filed suit.  We did not expect much attention from the mainstream media as we felt that this was yesterday’s news.  However, the two major local papers, most of the local television stations and some national television media have contacted us.  Apparently, “sex sells”, even if it is four years old and recirculated old news.

On another note, in late March, Daniel Aaronson will be speaking in Las Vegas at the Nightclub and Bar Convention.  Originally, this convention desired to exclude the adult entertainment industry which caused the adult industry to start the Gentlemen’s Club Exhibition.  Apparently, the adult industry has now become more main stream.  In fact, the Nightclub and Bar Convention specifically requested five First Amendment Lawyers Association attorneys to speak on a panel. Daniel Aaronson was one of those chosen.

Although this is a feather in the cap for Daniel Aaronson, it is more of a feather in the cap for the adult entertainment industry as a whole.  Once, we were an unwanted stepchild and now we are starting to receive special invitations.  Hopefully, this is a sign of our general acceptance in the community and the country.  Hopefully, this is a sign that we are no longer outcasts but are being accepted for what we are.  A truly large industry, with a truly large following, with truly large buying potential and most of all with regular people who want to do business like other people do, who want to produce a good product, want to satisfy their patron and want to be left alone by unwarranted unneeded government interference.

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