NEW ORLEANS — A lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s new law
setting the minimum age for strippers at 21 has seen a judge
rejecting lawyers' arguments to look into a police report on the
death of a 19-year-old stripper.
This is one of the latest developments in a lawsuit that was filed in
September by three dancers — ages 18, 19, and 20 — who are
fighting the new age state law with the stated aim of protecting
young women from human trafficking.
However, state lawyers are arguing that the police report on the
death of Bourbon Street dancer Jasilas Wright could help reinforce
their arguments for the law. According to a report from KPEL,
the lawyers noted allegations that Wright was a prostitute who was
suspected of being killed by her pimp. U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen
Wells Roby rejected a motion to turn a police report over on the
A report from NOLA.com
said that the state faces a problem relating to the use of the police
report in the case. At present, it is still considered a confidential
report as Adam Littleton, who has been charged with second-degree
murder in Wright’s death, is not due to go on trial until March.
New Orleans Advocate reported that lawyers defending the law
argued that the state should subpoena the state-police report, and
that the judge could privately review it. However, this has raised
objections from the attorney representing the three dancers who are
challenging the law's constitutionality.
In a Nov. 7 filing
from the dancers' attorney, they claim that the police report is “an
extraneous document” that was not reviewed by the Legislature when
the new age law was passed. Furthermore, a private review would
remove any chance for the dancers' attorneys to challenge the
Initially, the three plaintiffs were fighting to have the case
heard in New Orleans after the state’s alcohol-control commissioner
wanted the case to move to the Baton Rouge-based federal district
court, which is where the law was passed last summer. This motion was
rejected in November by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, according
to a report
by New Orleans City Business. Subsequently, since the challenge to
the new state law, an attorney for the Louisiana Office of Alcohol
and Tobacco Control has been temporarily blocked
from enforcing the age law.
The three women, who are challenging the new age limit, say that
it violates their right to free expression and discriminates based on
age and gender. They also say that young women who lose their jobs
and income because of the new law might be drawn into prostitution.
In a separate report from NOLA.com,
Littleton is suspected of Wright’s death along Interstate 10. The
report stated that police said she was kidnapped near Stiletto’s
Gentleman’s Club, where she worked. The report added that her death
occurred after she left the vehicle he was driving and was struck by
passing cars. Littleton has been alleged to be Wright's boyfriend and