Iowa doesn't have any all-nude strip clubs - but it does have "performing arts centers" where women dance naked.
Although perhaps not for long. The loophole in the state's public indecent exposure law that allows nude dancing at "art centers" is under attack in the small community of Hamburg, a town of 1,200 just across the Missouri River from Nebraska.
The case pending before a Fremont County judge affects only one business in Hamburg, but if he agrees with the prosecutor, it could eventually threaten the legal standing of nude dancing clubs across the state.
It all began on July 21, 2007, when a 17-year-old niece of Sheriff Steven MacDonald climbed up on stage at Shotgun Geniez in Hamburg and stripped off her clothing. Owner Clarence Judy was charged with violating Iowa's public indecent exposure law.
Judy responded that the law doesn't apply to a "theater, concert hall, art center, museum, or similar establishments" devoted to the arts or theatrical performances: "Dance has been considered one of the arts, as is sculpture, painting and anything else like that. What Clarence has is a club where people can come and perform," argued his lawyer.
Murphy noted that the club has a gallery selling collectible posters and other art, and it provides patrons with sketch pads.
But Fremont County Attorney Margaret Johnson says it's nonsense: "Are you saying that minors can't be protected? Can a group of 12-year-olds come down and go in and dance nude and it's OK? I don't think that's what the Legislature had in mind when it made those additional provisions."
Johnson said the intent of the law is to allow movies in a theater where there's brief nudity or for an art gallery displaying paintings of nudes.
The owner says he bans anyone under 18 from entering the five-year-old business but "a group of girls snuck in a 17-year-old": "While she was there, she felt like dancing so she got up and danced on the stage and then she took her clothes off. Trouble with that is she's the sheriff's niece.".
As part of his defense during trial, his lawyer cited a 1998 ruling that found nude dancing is a form of art. In that case, a judge found owner not guilty.