Gloria's Cantina Lounge in North Huntingdon padlocked by sheriff's office
The lawyer for a North Huntingdon strip club that has been in business since the 1970s said on Tuesday there is no evidence to support that it constituted a nuisance bar.
Attorney Dante Bertani said a police investigation that resulted in the arrests last week of two dancers and a patron at Gloria's Cantina Lounge on Route 30 on drug and prostitution allegations cannot be supported.
Hours after the arrests, the club was padlocked by the county's sheriff's department.
“I have no idea why they want to close Gloria's up. There is no evidence she (owner Gloria Brugnoli) did anything wrong. It's crazy. It's horrible,” Bertani said.
On Friday, Judge Gary Caruso issued a preliminary order finding the strip club as a nuisance bar and ordered that another hearing be convened Tuesday on a request from District Attorney John Peck to have the closing made permanent.
That hearing before Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. was delayed until Nov. 19 to allow Bertani more time to prepare his case. Bertani said he will present testimony from other dancers and staff members who are expected to tell the judge that no prostitution occurred in the club.
“There is no evidence that anyone saw any sex and only that it was patrons selling the drugs. The police just got the impression they were selling sex,” Bertani said.
Bertani said the club, which has had only one minor violation since it opened in the 1970s, is not a nuisance bar.
According to police reports, the undercover investigators purchased drugs and were propositioned for sex during a three-month probe of the club.
Arrested last week were Nathan Edward Moore, 34, of Pitcairn and Ashlee Nicole Campbell, 30, of East Pittsburgh, who are charged with drug possession with intent to deliver; and Selene Amber Vicini, 35, of Rochester, Beaver County, who is charged with prostitution.
The club's owner, Brugnoli, 83, has not been charged.
Peck said the investigation is ongoing.
“It appears there is additional information and witnesses regarding prostitution that is still being investigated by the state police,” he said.
The club will remain closed pending the outcome of next week's hearing.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- Sanchez’s sac fly in 9th gives Pirates win over Braves
- 2 dead in New Kensington shooting; woman says male victim her son
- Pitt sophomore Coles leaves football team
- Browns give nod to Hoyer to start at QB in opener vs. Steelers
- Gorman: McKeesport’s Hudson has name brand
- Penn St. readies for logistical challenges of Ireland trip
- Highlands WR serves as speedy complement to his RB brother
- Downed lines close Freeport Bridge
- South Fayette seeks movement on development of former Star City Cinema property