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'Bikini Barista' Acquitted, Yakima Coffee Shop Owner Guilty

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 08, 2011 12:14 PM

Want a peepshow with your latte?

Well, you better not head to a Yakima coffee shop, where half-naked servers have been taken off the menu.

Washington State has been experiencing a boom in the bikini barista movement. Cafes have been popping up, hoping to draw in customers with young female servers in--you guessed it--bikinis. Responding to complaints by repressed citizens, Reuters reports that many cities have begun criminalizing indecent clothing in public--namely G-strings and anything see-through.

The owner of a Yakima coffee shop, Dreamgirls Expresso, is facing 90 days in jail for violating one of these laws. Though the owner of the coffee shop about 100 miles from Seattle did not actually don an indecent garment, the jury found her guilty under the law for instructing a bikini barista to dress in lingerie, reports the Yakima Herald. The bikini barista was acquitted, the jury probably finding that she had little to no choice in her work attire.

The conviction stems from an incident that found the Dreamgirls bikini barista in sheer shorts, notes Reuters. They reportedly didn't provide enough backside coverage. The owner's defense attorney contends that the police improperly failed to seize evidence, recounts the Yakima Herald. There are no pictures of the bikini barista clad in said shorts, and the police didn't immediately confiscate them.

There's no telling what an appellate court will do with this argument--having the bikini barista change or taking pictures might have been inappropriate given her uncovered state. Dreamgirls may have one other potential argument though:

The First Amendment.

Nude dancing is considered to be free speech for its entertainment and "artistic" value. Who's to say that a few half naked girls serving drinks in a Yakima coffee shop aren't just as entertaining? And those designs on the top of your latte are artistic.

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