There is no debate about what Linda Barnett did at the Tysons Corner Holiday Inn the night of May 8. The only question is whether she should have been arrested for doing it.
Barnett, 33, is a professional stripper who runs a Washington business called "Have Fun, Will Travel," and she says she went to the motel to entertain seven men she believed were giving a bachelor party for a buddy.
"I stripped totally naked . . . . I took the 'groom's' shirt off . . . . They loved it," she said.
"Their eyes lit up, they were into it, cutting up and laughing, just like human beings, you know? You can't fake that."
Only after her 20-minute routine ended, did Barnett discover she would not get her $100 fee.
All eight men in the two-room suite were Fairfax County police officers and they charged her with indecent exposure.
The officers, including two vice squad supervisors, had rented two $88-a-night rooms at the motel and furnished them at taxpayer expense with all the fixings of bachelor party: beer, liquor, and snacks.
"I'd be the first to agree that the police have got far more important things to do than go after the bumps and grinds," said Fairfax prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr. yesterday. "But something more than that must have triggered this operation ."
"We don't just deploy this kind of manpower on a whim," said Fairfax vice commander Capt. Stephen Danzig, who defended the operation. "We've had complaints that this type of dancing and display has led to prostitution and solicitation."
Three dancers from separate businesses were scheduled through the suite, although police canceled the third.
The take for the night: two misdemeanor arrests for indecent exposure. Neither case has come to trial.
Such periodic operations have resulted in 11 prostitution arrests in the last year, the only prostitution arrests in the county during that period, Danzig said.
Before the officers identified themselves, Barnett said they tried to get her to "stay alone in the room with the 'groom.' They said they'd make it worth my while.
"I think this is outrageous. When someone does something like this under false pretenses, then on top of it, tries to get me to prostitute myself . . . of course it offends me," said Barnett. Her firm employs five female and three male dancers and she said they have performed throughout the area without being arrested during the last four years.
Horan said the exposure charge is "very rare."
"Mere nudity doesn't do it," he said. "The old bumps and grinds, just nude dancing, that doesn't do it." The act has to be found to be obscene, he said.
Barnett will be in Fairfax County General District Court Thursday, trying to prove it wasn't. If convicted she faces a possible fine of $1,000 and a year in jail.
Barnett said she was furious when arrested. "How can you guys do this? How do you live with yourselves?" she demanded.
"It's just a job, lady," she said one replied.