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Club Madonna Reopens Despite Human Trafficking Investigation

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Lauren Pastrana joined CBS Miami in April 2012 as a reporter. Sh...
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South Florida Crime

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The South Beach strip club at the center of a human trafficking investigation was allowed to reopen Monday after being shutdown for two weeks.

Club Madonna had been closed since Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales issued an order revoking the Washington Ave. strip joint’s business license in the wake of allegations a 13-year-old runaway had been dancing there nude against her will.

The doors to the club opened to the public Monday at 9 p.m.

“We’re feeling incredibly good. We didn’t believe that the club should have been shutdown to begin with. Now that  it’s going to be back open doing business, any business owner would feel great about that situation,” club attorney Daniel Aaronson said.

Four people have been charged with human trafficking in the case and strict protocols has been put in place at the club to prevent this from happening again.

“For 20 years, Club Madonna has been in business right at this location and something like that never did occur. What you have is a fluke situation, that if it occurred, occurred for a limited period of time,” Aaronson explained.

Aaronson said he worked with Miami Beach officials to come up with conditions for reopening.

Among them, the hiring of a chief compliance officer who will be in charge of making sure all the dancers are legal adults.

“No dancer will be allowed on the premises without first having a file that has her ID,” Aaronson said. “Each time she comes here, she must show that same ID.”

On Monday, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales decided to stay his order to revoke Club Madonna’s business license, basically giving the strip club the green light to reopen immediately.

In his order, he wrote, “Investigations, both criminal and civil, remain ongoing.”

A lawsuit filed by the club against the city is also moving forward at this time.

It’s not clear whether a planned court hearing to discuss the reopening of the club will go ahead as scheduled Friday.

“Not happy about the past, excited about the future,” Aaronson said.

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