Fairfax County prosecutors yesterday unexpectedly dropped a charge of indecent exposure against a professional stripper who said she had been entrapped by a group of county police officers.
"I don't know what this means," said George D. Varoutsos, attorney for Linda Barnett, the stripper. "I guess it means you can take your clothes off in a motel room."
Barnett, 33, was arrested on the misdemeanor charge May 8 at the Tysons Corner Holiday Inn by Fairfax County police officers. The D.C. resident, who runs a business called "Have Fun, Will Travel," has said she went to the motel to entertain a group of men she believed were giving a bachelor party.
"We do live, theatrical scenarios in the spirit of burlesque," Barnett explained yesterday as she nervously awaited her court appearance in Fairfax County General District Court. "In the course of a 20-minute show . . . the performer is naked for seven to eight minutes."
Barnett acknowledges that she performed for the group of eight men, all of whom turned out to be police officers, but she steadfastly maintains that she was entrapped.
She said the man who made the appointment said that the bachelor party was for "kind of a wild bunch."
Barnett said she went to the motel, performed her routine and was nude for seven to eight minutes.
The officers had rented two $88-a-night rooms at the motel and furnished them with liquor and snacks to look like a party. After she finished her performance, she said, the men "tried to get me to prostitute myself." She said she refused and never got her $150 fee.
"The procedures leading up to her arrest were correct," said police spokesman Warren R. Carmichael, adding that the action that led to the arrest came from a citizen's complaint.
Under Virginia law, anyone who makes an obscene display of his or her body in a public place or in any place where others are present, can be found guilty of indecent exposure. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and 12 months in jail.