MYRTLE BEACH - The prosecutor in Horry County is asking a judge to close five strip clubs, saying they have a reputation of prostitution and lewdness and are offensive to public decency.

The owner of one of the clubs says a shutdown would hurt tourism.

Prosecutor Jimmy Richardson filed separate civil complaints against each of the clubs last week, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported. The request seeks a temporary order to close the clubs until a hearing can be conducted to permanently close them.

Mike Rose of The Gold Club says the move would hurt tourism. He says the clubs attract tourists, employee about 300 people and support other businesses such as golf courses and transportation services.

"A lot of people are going to be hurt by what I term abusive government," said Rose, who said he will fight the claims and expects the other clubs to do the same.

No hearing date has been set on Richardson's request.

Richardson said he's received complaints stem from the Horry County Police Department. His office has taken similar action against other nightclubs where police have documented a pattern of illegal behavior, such as drug activity, fighting and noise violations.

The filings follow investigations at the nightclubs by undercover police officers and private investigators, according to the complaints.

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Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/