SOUTH GLENS FALLS -- Police have reopened the investigation of a 16-year-old’s birthday party that featured strippers, after photos surfaced this week that seemed to show more than a teen receiving a “bikini gram.”
South Glens Falls Police last week investigated the Nov. 3 party at Spare Time Bowling Center on Route 9, after receiving a tip that strippers had contact with underage youths.
Officers were initially told the scantily clad women were a “bikini gram” sent to sing happy birthday to the teen, and concluded no charges were warranted.
But after The Post-Star published an article Tuesday about the matter, police and the newspaper received copies of photos that the teen’s friends and relatives had posted on social networking websites after the party. The photos seemed to contradict the “bikini gram” version of events. Police had not been shown the photos as part of the initial inquiry.
South Glens Falls Police Chief Kevin Judd said his office consulted with the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office after viewing the photos, and the decision was made to re-open the inquiry. State Police are assisting, he said.
“It’s being looked into because of the pictures that surfaced,” Judd said. “The State Police are assisting us. We have a lot of people to talk to.”
It is illegal for teens under the age of 17 to be subjected to sexual contact, and witnessing sexual contact and sexual situations could be considered endangering their welfare. Misdemeanor charges could be filed.
Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said he could not speculate on possible charges Wednesday but called the allegations that minors had contact with strippers during a party organized by a parent “very concerning.”
“I think this investigation is a long way from being complete. There were a lot of people at this event who the police have to talk to,” Murphy said.
Authorities will likely look to view text message and social networking website posts regarding the party, he said.
“Even if they are deleted, all of those can be retrieved with a grand jury subpoena,” he said.
Murphy said the Saratoga County Department of Social Services was also involved in the investigation. A call to the agency was not returned Wednesday.
The Post-Star has received two photos, one of which shows a woman in g-string underwear and a bra writhing on the teen for whom the party was held, her legs wrapped around his head.
Another photo shows two scantily clad women giving “lap dances” to young people, one of them a young woman, with dollar bills littering the floor and paper covering a glass door entrance to the room.
Both photos are too risque for publication.
The person who forwarded them said they had been posted on a social networking website by the mother of the teen for whom the party was held.
The birthday boy’s mother, who was said to have organized the party, said in messages through Facebook on Monday that no strippers were at the gathering.
“This is all someone who has a personal vengeance against us and is trying to hurt us and our children. We have four sons who are active in sports, school, student council, and helping the community,” she wrote.
When e-mailed a copy of the photo showing her son with an exotic dancer’s legs wrapped around his head, she did not respond Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Post-Star is withholding the family’s name because no charges have been filed. Their lawyer, Bill White, did not return a phone call for comment.
The dancers were provided by Saratoga County adult entertainment company Tops in Bottoms, officials said. A call to the company was not returned Wednesday.
Murphy said the bowling center, which has a liquor license, could face sanctions for allowing the activity. A man who fielded a phone call at the business Wednesday would not discuss the matter.
Anyone with information in the case was asked to call South Glens Falls Police at 792-6336.