Five girls entered the strip bar while fundraising.
ALLISON PYBURN Statesman Journal July 26, 2002
An adults-only nightclub that serves alcohol and features all-nude strippers is under investigation for allowing five underage girls in the club.
Five McKay High School cheerleaders, all sophomores, say they mistakenly thought Stars Cabaret was a restaurant, according to school officials.
But Stars’ co-owner says the outside of the business is clearly marked and there can be no mistaking what waits inside.
Even so, he acknowledges a manager could have handled it better once he became aware the girls were in the club.
The cheerleaders, clad in their McKay High School uniforms, were out collecting donations from area businesses on July 15 to purchase some banners.
They ended up with the best view inside the north Salem club.
On one side, a stripper named “Billie” performed on stage for a half dozen customers.
Just to the right in the “champagne room,” other women performed private dances.
The cheerleaders stood in the darkened security area — a vantage point where you can see the whole club — long enough to watch a full performance, according to a security camera videotape now in the possession of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
They were allowed to stay and were treated with hospitality, according to a waitress who was there and who remains angry that the incident was allowed to happen.
Stars is under investigation for allowing minors to remain in a prohibited area, said OLCC investigator Lionel Salgado.
The penalty is either a seven-day suspension or $1,155 fine.
This would be the first such violation for the club, Salgado said.
Meanwhile, the cheerleaders will not be disciplined at this point, said Kathleen Hanneman, director of secondary education for Salem-Keizer School District.
“The students are saying that at no time were they told they shouldn’t be there,” Hanneman said. “I don’t think there is any wrongdoing on the part of the students.”
Hanneman said the girls mistakenly thought the strip club was a steak and seafood restaurant.
They went in the door, may or may not have collected a donation, and walked back out, she said.
The security tape tells a different story.
It shows the girls didn’t turn around quickly and leave, Salgado said.
They were at all times accompanied by a manager — first, in the front room where he gave them $50 and then down the hallway to the entertainment area for several minutes, he said.