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Las Vegas lifestyle club, alleged site of sex doll brothel, sues county to stay open

Updated July 28, 2020 - 5:29 pm

A “fluid gender social lifestyle club” that rented space to a sex doll operation is suing Clark County in federal court as it seeks to retain its business license amid a government effort to shut it down.

The Studios, also known as Fluid Lifestyles Learning Center LLC, has been licensed to operate as an educational institution since 2016. But the central Las Vegas establishment created waves earlier this year after allegations that its property was also being used as an illegal sex club and sex doll brothel.

In the lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, the business accuses the county of violating its constitutional right to due process because a hearing scheduled Thursday to revoke its business license does not provide specific evidence, including time and date, to support allegations of illegal activity.

“They can give it to you at the hearing, which doesn’t allow the business to defend itself,” said attorney Allen Lichtenstein, who is representing The Studios and likened the process to a “kangaroo court.”

He said Tuesday that the business plans to forgo the hearing and fight its case through the courts instead.

Sex dolls operation

The county, including its business license department, has accused The Studios of operating an unlawful sex club and illegally selling alcoholic beverages, according to Monday’s court filing.

But the lawsuit also suggests another reason behind county efforts to close it, which it says infringes on the business’ First Amendment rights: “Because of the often sexual nature of many of the educational topics explored at the Studios.”

The county declined to comment on the lawsuit Tuesday, but county spokesman Dan Kulin said the business is “alleged to have been illegally operating outside the scope of their educational facility business license” and violating Gov. Steve Sisolak’s emergency directives related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In February, the county told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that The Studios, 5150 S. Pecos Road, was under investigation for operating a business without a license.

The Studios owner Joyce Judge said in February that Las Vegas Sex Dolls Experience had rented a retail space on the property from just before Christmas until the end of January and indicated to her that it was selling the dolls.

The Sex Dolls Experience offered customers time interacting with sex dolls in a private room at an undisclosed hourly rate, according to its website, which underwent several changes after the business was contacted by the Review-Journal.

As for The Studios, its website shows rooms outfitted with beds, couches, televisions, at least one stripper pole and bondage equipment.

Judge did not deny in February that the “social venue for all persuasions” operates as a sex club, but she said that “if people have sex, they’re doing it in some of the private rooms.”

She also said film crews used the property, although she said she was not aware of any pornography being filmed on the site.

The Studios has been closed for several months during the coronavirus pandemic and does not have a firm expected reopening date, according to the lawsuit.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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