Tampa, Florida - A Bay area mother is furious after her 16-year-old daughter was hired as a nude dancer at the Emperors Gentleman's Club on Adamo Drive in Tampa.
The mom is so angry that she filed a lawsuit against the club. She says her daughter was violated by being made to dance fully naked in front of older men.
"If they would have done their job, they would have known she was 16, someone's daughter, and someone is gonna raise a ruckus," says Valorie Duran.
Photo Gallery: 16-year-old hired at strip club
Valorie made good on her promise to "raise a ruckus" by hiring Tampa attorney Joseph Bryant. She called Bryant back in January, after she reported her daughter missing. The teen reportedly ran away from home. But before she did, Valorie heard that her daughter had been hired at Emperors.
After reporting this to the authorities, a vice cop saw the 16-year-old performing nude in the club, says Bryant.
At his South Tampa office Bryant told us, "She's 16. I mean, when you're 18, by law, that's OK. But 16, that's against the law."
So, Bryant filed suit on behalf of the mother.
The lawsuit stems from a 2009 Statute which states, "any minor used in the production of child pornography may bring legal action." In this case, the 16-year-old was allegedly taped in the club and featured in a men's magazine called Night Moves. She is seen in the ad promoting the club.
The photographs show the teen scantily clad in a skimpy two-piece bathing suit. In one photograph, she is seen in the embrace of a much-older man.
Her mother is enraged that the club would hire a minor.
Valorie says, "It broke my heart to think that anyone would bring in anyone's daughter and have them sexually exploited and that's exactly what happened to her."
We wanted to know what the club had to say about these allegations and this lawsuit. Did they knowingly hire a 16-year-old girl?
However, when we walked in the club, we were told to leave immediately. "Get out," we were told. "Or, I'll call the police."
Moments later, a manager named Julian came out and told us, "no comment."
But then he smiled and said, "You guys don't know the whole story. There are three sides to every story -- the truth, the false, and somewhere in the middle. You'll find out the truth soon enough. My supervisor says that's all I can say."
Byrant says, sadly, the 16-year-old got in with the wrong crowd and became a chronic runaway. But the story has a silver lining.
The teen recently called her mother from Los Angeles, telling her that she desperately wants to come home.
"I was so happy to hear her voice," Valorie told us. "I can't wait to see her again and give her a hug. I will not let this destroy our family. If it's not my daughter, then it could be someone else's."
As for the club, they have 20 days from May 18th to file a written response to these allegations. The question still remains -- how did the teen get hired in the first place?
Bryant says she provided them with a driver's license of a 27-year-old woman.
"All the girls have to fill out an application, 'Hey, she said she was over 18. We're good.' Unfortunately, that's not good under the law. The club is in big trouble, big trouble."
The lawsuit calls for, at the very least, $150,000 in damages, plus court costs and fees.
Do you think the family should win the lawsuit?
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