Cops: Lewd doings at Penthouse Club

Posted: November 07, 2011

POLICE SAID very little was kept pent up at the Penthouse Club in Port Richmond, where some dancers worked more than the poles on the floor.

State Police officers from the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement raided the club Friday night and arrested seven dancers and one manager on prostitution charges.

The investigation and subsequent raid by the LCE and the police Citywide Vice Unit had been prompted by community complaints, including those from the spouses of men who'd blown their family's grocery money at the club, said Sgt. Bill LaTorre of LCE.

LaTorre said the ongoing investigation into prostitution at the Penthouse Club is one of several investigations that State Police are conducting into area strip clubs. Other raids are slated soon.

"If you would have asked me a year ago if this was a problem, I would have said no," LaTorre said. "But in the last few months I've gotten so many letters to me about what's going on that it appears to me it is now a rampant problem."

At the Penthouse Club, on Castor Avenue near Delaware, men would pay $300 for 30 minutes in the champagne room or $250 for a skybox, police said. There, guys could partake in any number of sexual acts with the dancers, including "the front door, the back door and the upstairs," LaTorre said.

The house was well-aware of the illegal activity because it received $100 from every skybox visit and $150 from every champagne-room visit the dancers made, police said.

"The house is getting rich, literally, off the backs of these girls," LaTorre said.

State Police did not immediately identify those arrested. LaTorre said the seven female dancers and one male manager were charged because they soliticted undercover officers, but he suggested more people could have been involved in prostitution.

"It does not actively reflect how many there actually were," he said.

Although the club's owners have not been charged, they remain under investigation, which could put the status of their liquor license in jeopardy, LaTorre said.

A woman who answered the phone at the club yesterday said no one would comment.

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