Friday, September 11, 1998

Pat Conroy

p. A4.

Dozens arrested in raids on strip bars

More than 200 police officers swooped down on strip bars and residences in York Region in a combined forces raid last night and early today.

Dozens of exotic dancers were taken into custody on prostitution and bawdy house charges as the raids continued overnight, a York Region police spokesperson said.

"Persons are being arrested and premises are being searched as we speak," said York Region police Sergeant John Sheldon.

Police executed search warrants on 19 premises, including a boat docked near Cherry Beach in Toronto.

Lap dancing

Sheldon said the raids were carried out following a five-month undercover investigation which included surveillance of lab dancing at establishments in Richmond Hill and Markham.

He added that the major focus of the raids last night centred on the Major Mac Hotel, also known as the Fantasia Hotel, on Yonge St. in Richmond Hill as well as the Bunnies strip bar and the Goddess Club, both in Markham.

At Bunnies, on Markham Rd. north of 16th Ave., 25-30 women were arrested and face charges of being inmates of a common bawdy house.

About the same number were detained on the same charges at Fantasia, north of Major MacKenzie Dr. in Richmond Hill. The club owners face charges of running a common bawdy house.

Sheldon said most of the arrests involved table dancers but customers may also be charged if they violated any laws.

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Created: September 13, 1998
Last modified: September 13, 1998

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