Platinum Plus Greenville will remain closed until November, then the strip club will be allowed to reopen with “mandatory enhanced monitoring” inside the business, according to a consent order filed Thursday.
The consent order also stipulates that Elephant Inc., which owns Platinum Plus, must pay $50,000 to Greenville County for legal costs associated with a lawsuit in April that sought to close the business permanently. Elephant Inc., according to the court document, also agreed to pay $6,500 for an independent company to monitor the business for a year and $10,000 to Switch, a nonprofit with the mission to end human trafficking in the Upstate.
“We continue to deny the allegations, however, we do understand the concerns raised by the county,” Elephant Inc. said in a statement through one of its lawyers. “We believe it is in everyone’s best interest to avoid costly litigation and are happy to have this matter resolved.”
Elephant Inc. agreed to provide the Solicitor’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office enhanced monitoring rights of the business operations to ensure full compliance with the consent order. An independent company, selected by the Solicitor’s Office, will monitor Platinum Plus for a year after it reopens, based on the terms of the settlement.
“EI, at its expense, shall ensure video surveillance equipment exists sufficient to capture reviewable video footage of all places where dancers interact with customers inside the subject property,” the consent order states. “This is to include but is not limited to the Champagne Room, the Couch Room, and all parts of the main floor.”
The Solicitor’s Office alleged the strip club was a public nuisance based on rampant prostitution, unearthed in a yearlong undercover investigation. The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office in recent months has charged Platinum Plus strippers with committing sexual acts in exchange for money and exposing their genitals at the nightclub, according to arrest warrants. Authorities have filed charges against 20 individuals who worked at the business, including exotic dancers, champagne room hostesses and a manager.
Elephant Inc. denies that a nuisance existed at Platinum Plus, 805 Frontage Road, according to the consent order. However, it acknowledged that the Solicitor’s Office could present evidence to a judge that could find Platinum Plus “constituted a public nuisance within the meaning of the Nuisance Statute.”
Judge Charles Simmons last month granted a temporary injunction to close the gentleman’s club pending the outcome of a trial, which was scheduled for June 22 but is no longer necessary.
The Solicitor’s Office, after news broke of the consent order, scheduled a news conference for Friday to discuss Platinum Plus.
“Our main concern remains our employees and their families,” Elephant Inc. said in its statement. “This resolution provides certainty and will allow everyone to move forward. We look forward to welcoming our customers back on November 8, 2015.”
The strip club is required to report malfunctioning video equipment to the Solicitor’s Office and furnish full access to unedited and unaltered video to the Sheriff’s Office at any time.
The independent monitor may visit Platinum Plus as many 20 hours per month and will provide a report to the Solicitor’s Office within two weeks.
The $6,500, which will be placed into an escrow account designated by the Sheriff’s Office, is allocated to pay all costs and fees arising out of the work completed by the monitor.
The Solicitor’s Office, according to the consent order, agreed to dismiss claims against Frontage Road Associates Inc., which owns the property.