EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 21, 2013

Massage parlor's client list still a work in progress

By Jill Harmacinski

---- — LAWRENCE — A week after an alleged Lawrence madam was charged, detectives are still compiling a list of Lori Barron’s clients from the “The Day Spa for Gentlemen” at 7B Broadway.

Computers, an external hard drive and numerous cell phones seized were given to state police to analyze after Barron’s arrest on human trafficking, prostitution and illegal recording/videotaping charges last week.

Police Chief John Romero yesterday said evidence in the case is still being processed and a list of Barron’s clients has not yet been completed.

“We’re in the process of putting it all together now,” Romero said.

It’s still unclear if Barron’s clients — reportedly area police officers, firefighters, a Haverhill city councilor, lawyers, teachers, a doctor and court workers — will face criminal charges.

Barron, 50, of Salem, N.H., allegedly videotaped young women working for her performing sex acts on customers. She then used the footage to blackmail her employees, some single mothers, if they stepped out of line or tried to quit.

Police said Barron had hundreds of customers at the spa, which she advertised as “Just the right amount of wrong to be right,” on her website. She solicited clients through the website Backpage.com, where a daily special was offered along with discount prices.

At her arraignment on Tuesday, June 11, Barron entered a plea of not guilty to human trafficking, two counts of prostitution, extortion, photographing an unsuspecting nude person, unlawful wiretapping and intimidating a witness. Her bail was set at $30,000, which was posted by bank check shortly after her arraignment.

Barron previously operated a prostitution spa in Salem, N.H. at 282 Main St. She was arrested on May 16, 2011 and 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 and 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 not open or manage a massage therapy business in Salem, N.H. for 10 years.

Less than two years later, however, she had opened the “The Day Spa for Gentlemen” seven miles away on Broadway in Lawrence.

Her workers told police she hired them initially as receptionists and then would “promote” them to work in the massage rooms with the promise of more money.

Police learned about the illegal sexual activity at the Broadway spa after Barron allegedly assaulted an employee on March 13. The worker said Barron pulled her down the stairs by her hair after the woman wouldn’t allow a client to spank her.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.