EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 26, 2013

Police: Client list over 1,000

By Douglas Moser

---- — LAWRENCE — Police believe the client list of accused madam Lori Barron contains at least 1,000 names, and potentially as many as 2,000, according to information collected by Lawrence and state police from Barron’s records.

Chief John Romero said the task for his officers now is to go through the names, retrieved by state police forensic investigators from computers and cell phones seized earlier this month from Barron’s “The Day Spa for Gentlemen” on Broadway, and match them with the people to whom they belong.

“The client list appears to be at least 1,000,” Romero said yesterday. “That could go much higher.”

Romero said police are sifting through the list, which includes “common names” that will require more investigation and corroboration before police can be sure they are identifying the right people.

Records seized from Barron’s business at 7 Broadway, in which police said she operated a prostitution operation, and retrieved from her electronic devices provide enough detail that police can hone in on the identities of customers with common names, though Romero declined to be specific.

“There is considerable information regarding this. We have a lot to work with,” he said.

Any determination about whether to prosecute any of the people who allegedly paid for sex at The Day Spa for Gentlemen would be made by the district attorney, he said.

Anthony Ortiz, Barron’s attorney, did not return a phone call seeking comment yesterday afternoon.

No specific names have been released but police have said among those frequenting Barron’s spa included a Methuen police officer, Methuen firefighters, a Haverhill city councilor, Lawrence and Amesbury teachers, lawyers and court workers, according to police reports.

Barron, 50, of Salem, N.H., was arrested at her home June 10, the culmination of an investigation that began in March after an employee reported Barron assaulted her for refusing to allow a client to spank her, police said.

They said Barron used her spa to offer sexual services performed by employees recruited as receptionists and blackmailed her employees with videotapes she secretly took of them performing sex acts on customers.

Barron, a married mother of two college-age daughters, was charged with felony counts of human trafficking, maintaining a house of prostitution, deriving support from prostitution, unlawful wiretapping, extortion and photographing unsuspecting nude persons.

She initially set up her business at 599 Canal St., but later moved to the Broadway location, police said. Romero said yesterday it is unclear how long she has operated the business.

On May 16, 2011, Barron was caught in a Salem, N.H. investigation dubbed “Operation Bunny Ranch.” Then the owner of ETEA Weight Loss Spa at 282 Main St., Salem, she was charged with two counts of prostitution, obscene matter and simple assault. Less than a month later, she pleaded guilty to obscene matter and simple assault. The two prostitution charges were not prosecuted.

She was sentenced to a year in jail, suspended for 12 months with good behavior. She agreed to “relinquish her massage therapist’s license and shall not open or manage a massage therapists business in Salem, N.H. for 10 years,” according to court papers. She was also fined $310, which was immediately paid.

Follow Douglas Moser on Twitter @EagleEyeMoser. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.