Eldridge, dancers appear in court
Wayne Eldridge, former Leavenworth County commissioner, made a court appearance last Friday on three misdemeanor charges.
Eldridge is charged with aiding and abetting public nudity, promoting prostitution and promoting obscenity in connection with a private club he operates northeast of Basehor.
These four women who have danced at the club also face charges: Laura Anne Campos, Lenexa, public nudity, prostitution and promoting obscenity; Carolyn Christine Trader, Easton, public nudity; Amanda Brook Nault, Lenexa, public nudity; and Loretta A. Matlock, Lenexa, public nudity.
All but Campos appeared in court last week, and Judge Frederick Stewart issued a bench warrant for her arrest, according to Leavenworth County Attorney Frank Kohl.
He said that Eldridge's attorney requested and received time to file motions on constitutional issues surrounding the case. The deadline for the defense to file motions is Oct. 24, so it will be some time before the case would go to trial, Kohl said.
The public nudity charge alleges a violation of a resolution that the county commission passed last August. That measure, which bans nudity and certain sexual acts in public places, was approved unanimously at a time when Eldridge was chairman of the commission. He was defeated last November in a bid for re-election.
The charges against Eldridge and the four women stem from March 22, when plainclothes sheriff's officers from Brown County were sent into Whispers to investigate allegations of nudity.
The deputies, according to Kohl, saw lap dances and nudity. Eldridge denies the allegations and says he did not violate the county's resolution on public nudity, saying the case centers on First Amendment issues.