D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles revealed last week that his office shuttered a sex club for gay men known as the “Men’s Parties” and “D.C. Wrestling Club” as part of a city-wide crackdown on prostitution and other “unlawful sexually oriented activities.”
“The District has worked diligently to bring to light the illegal activities occurring at these unsafe businesses and fought to keep them closed for a safer and peaceful community,” Nickles said in a statement. “As part of this initiative, the District has used and will continue to use every tool at its disposal to make sure such illegal activities will not be tolerated.”
Four other businesses targeted in the crackdown catered to heterosexual clientele. In court papers seeking an injunction to close the Men’s Parties, which operated in a townhouse at 1618 14th St., N.W., Nickles stressed the club was operating as a business without a required business license. The court papers made no allegation that the club was associated with prostitution.
The city launched an investigation into the Men’s Parties’ operations after one of its gay male members died in October after falling and hitting his head on the concrete floor or a metal pipe, according to an account by the club’s owner, David Butler. Police ruled the death an accident, but the Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission called on the city to close the club on grounds that it was unsafe.
Butler disputes claims that the premises in which he operated were unsafe. He had said he operated the Men’s Parties as a private social club, not a business, and would comply with all city rules. Butler had noted his attorney was challenging the city’s injunction forcing him to close, although he was uncertain whether he could resume the club’s activities.