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August 15, 2013

Ruling: Video from alleged brothel cannot be released

Owner of 'Day Spa for Gentlemen' arraigned in Superior Court

SALEM, Mass. — While her client list still remains a mystery to the public, accused madam Lori Barron was formally arraigned on human trafficking, prostitution and related charges in Salem Superior Court yesterday.

Barron, 50, of 20 Riversedge Drive, Salem, N.H. is accused of running an illegal brothel out of her Lawrence massage parlor “The Day Spa for Gentlemen” at 7B Broadway and luring young women to work there and perform sexual acts on paying customers.

Judge Timothy Feeley yesterday also agreed to a protective order on a videotape seized in the case. The order which both O’Brien and Prosecutor Kate MacDougall agreed to, stipulates the video “depicting nudity and sexual acts” cannot be publicly released or duplicated in any way and will not leave the custody of the attorneys involved in the case.

Potential evidence already filed in the case includes numerous police reports, photos and cell phone records, information from the spa’s web site, handwritten notes, a calendar, 21 advertisements for “girls” and grand jury minutes, according to court papers filed by MacDougall.

Barron was indicted on the human trafficking, prostitution and related charges in late June and her arraignment at the superior court level means the possible penalties she faces if convicted will be more severe.

A human trafficking conviction carries a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison. If a victim under age 18 is involved, a judge may impose a life sentence for human trafficking.

Flanked by her new defense attorney Francis O’Brien of Boston during the arraignment, Barron entered a plea of not guilty to three counts of human trafficking, maintaining a house of prostitution, deriving support from prostitution, witness intimidation and videotaping unsuspecting nude persons.

Judge Feeley agreed to set bail at $30,000 which Barron already posted in Lawrence District Court following her June 11 arraignment there. Also, as a condition of bail, Feeley ordered Barron to stay away from the victims in the case and warned her not to contact them in any way, even electronically.

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