LAWRENCEVILLE - During a press conference Tuesday at the Gwinnett County Jail, State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, called for law enforcement to re-examine charges against a woman police said may have been running an underground strip club.
Constance Trahan, 28, was arrested on July 18 and charged with maintaining a disorderly house. Police responding to a noise complaint said it appeared as though the basement of the Purcell Road home was being used as a strip club, and that alcohol was being sold to minors.
Investigators have acknowledged minors may have been drinking, but have made no implications regarding child exploitation, only saying that several people who "appeared underage" left the home as officers arrived.
Unterman, a member of the Joint Commission on the Exploitation of Minors, said it's a matter of logic.
"If kids are drinking shooters, dancing and stripping, sex is going on," Unterman said.
Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway said he doesn't believe the charges against Trahan meet the definition of exploitation, but that he would be happy to look into the incident.
The Gwinnett Police Department is actively investigating.
Unterman said she plans to speak with Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter and police Chief Charles Walters about possibly upgrading charges.
She said she doesn't want situations - prostitution and sexual exploitation - like those tolerated in downtown Atlanta, the military bases of Columbus and streets of Savannah to arise in Gwinnett.
"It's the Broken Glass Syndrome, if you let it happen in one neighborhood, it'll happen in all the neighborhoods," Unterman said. "We're saying in our community that we're not going to tolerate this."