I’ll get right to the point…one of the strangest things about the coverage of this trial was how incredibly mundane most of the “accusations” were. Wow, professional athletes like sex. I also hear they make a lot of money. :rolleyes: Nearly all of the actual criminal charges (which is probably the only reason this story made the news at all, a la Gary Condit’s affair) were against the man in charge of the Gold Club, and AFAIK none of the club patrons have been convicted.
Have we advanced so little that a few unusual sexual exploits coupled with a smattering of perfectly ordinary crimes still qualifies as national news? Or am I missing something here?
My favorite part of this was an interview I saw with Ewing on CNN. He mentioned that, after getting oral sex from a dancer, he asked if he should tip her, and was told it had already been taken care of.
I think that’s hilarious. First, what is the standard tip for something like that? Second, I think it’s hilarious for a millionaire to say, “Should I tip?” and when told it was taken care of, he doesn’t! I don’t know why, I found that really funny.
The Feds didn’t go after this club because strippers were having sex with athletes. They went after the club because it was (supposedly) a mob operation. Now they couldn’t really prove this because Steve Kaplan didn’t roll over. He refused to testify against the higher-ups, so the Feds put the screws to him. “You won’t testify? Well then, we’ll go after you.”
The charges against Kaplan basically boiled down to solicitation of prostitution, credit card fraud, and a somewhat shaky racketeering charge.
Steve Kaplan took the fall for the big boys in New York, IMHO.
It seems that the local Atlanta politicians were salivating over the property as well. Since part of the settlement deal included the local government getting a prime piece of real estate I can’t help to think that might have been some of the motivation in initiating the case in the first place. There are a lot of strip clubs in Atlanta and I can’t imagine the Gold Club is the only one that’s catered to athletes ‘needs’.
This was a federal prosecution, and it was the United States government that took over the Gold Club. (All part of the FBI’s larger war on organized crime.) Local government didn’t have anything to do with it. In fact, the City of Atlanta they lost a significant source of tax revenue when the Gold Club shut down, not to mention one of the shiny lures that helps the City draw conventioneers. Looks like the City’s incentive would have been to keep the place open.
Now the City of Atlanta wants the property for use as a park/greenspace, but I’m under the impression that they’ll have to bid on the property just like everybody else if and when the Feds sell it.