Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Judge Orders San Diego Strip Club To Close For Repeated Violations

Cheetah's strip club is pictured in this undated photo.
Cheetah's strip club is pictured in this undated photo.

A Superior Court judge today confirmed her prior ruling to revoke the nude entertainment license of Cheetah's strip club in Kearny Mesa over numerous violations of San Diego's municipal code.

The decision by Judge Randa Trapp, if upheld after appeals, would lead to the club's closure. Cheetah's lawyer Steve Hoffman said he is likely to appeal, so a shutdown isn't expected anytime soon.

The judge said the evidence showed "numerous and continuing violations" of provisions that prohibit patrons from touching and fondling dancers, and require the dancers to remain 6 feet away from customers. The violations have continued despite numerous warnings to club management and owner Suzanne Coe, according to the judge.


Gerry Braun, spokesman for the City Attorney's Office, told reporters that the club won't be able to operate without the license.

"As the judge said, Cheetah's will be shut down," Braun said.

Hoffman argued that the city regulations don't come with clear standards for a business that features an estimated 100,000 dances annually.

"Is one too much? Is five too much?" Hoffman asked rhetorically about an excusable number of offenses. "There's really no standard."

He also argued that the revocation was in retaliation brought by club dancers against the San Diego Police Department over a series of raids early last year. The women contend they were held against their will without a warrant or probable cause that a crime had been committed.


The judge said there was no evidence of retaliation on the part of the city.

Braun said the police investigation started one year before the lawsuit was filed. Several other strip clubs operate lawfully in San Diego, he said.

San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the ruling "confirms our officers conducted legal, proper and justified inspections."

"The Police Department has a duty to inspect police regulated businesses, including Cheetah's, and to enforce the municipal code, and we will continue to do so for the welfare of our public," Zimmerman said.

"The purpose of these regulations is to prevent prostitution, lewd acts, money laundering, organized crime, and the deterioration of our neighborhoods."