Attorneys Ask Judge to Toss Law Restricting Nude Dancing in Missouri

AUGUST 22, 2005 - Posted at 3:44 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The adult entertainment industry says a new law restricting nude dancing should be tossed because it violates free speech rights and has other problems.

Businesses, employees, a patron and an industry group are challenging the law.  It's scheduled to take effect Sunday.

Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan heard arguments today but did not immeidately issue a ruling.

The new law bars customers or employees younger than 21 at strip clubs.  It also bans full nudity and touching customers, and requires dancers to remain at least ten feet away.

The law says the state's intent is to reduce the negative effects of adult businesses, such as crime and dropping property values.  The industry says the state hasn't shown the restrictions accomplish that goal.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)