Court Roundup

Massachusetts
Former brothel owner gets up to 9 years in prison

SALEM, Mass. (AP) - The former owner of a Massachusetts massage parlor that prosecutors say was actually a brothel where workers performed sex acts on clients has been sentenced to up to nine years in prison.

The Eagle-Tribune reports that Lori Ann Barron was sentenced Monday after a statement from one of the young women she forced into prostitution was read in court. The victim wrote that working for Barron at The Day Spa for Gentlemen in Lawrence has made her "paranoid in all aspects of life."

The 54-year-old Barron, of Salem, New Hampshire, was convicted in June of sex trafficking, deriving support from prostitution, and photographing an unsuspecting nude person.

Prosecutors say Barron hid cameras in the massage rooms to collect video to use against workers who challenged her or tried to quit.

Ohio
Ex-cop accused of forcing women into sex acts

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man accused of abusing his authority as a police officer to force or pressure women into sex acts is charged with rape, kidnapping and interfering with civil rights, among other counts.

Justin Sanderson resigned from the Phillipsburg police after being arrested last month and turned himself in at a jail after his indictment, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Court records on Tuesday listed no attorney for the 32-year-old Huber Heights man. He is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 12 on the newly announced 21-count indictment, which also includes charges of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and misusing a law enforcement database.

One woman alleges that Sanderson stopped her on suspicion of impaired driving in May and forced her to have sex with him at the police station, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said. Another woman who was arrested on a warrant in early June separately accused Sanderson of forcing her into sex acts at the station, Heck said.

Two more women allege that Sanderson arranged to meet them for sex at a motel in June using the website Backpage.com, then showed up in uniform, told them he was investigating human trafficking and prostitution, and said he would give them a warning, Heck said. Sanderson briefly left, then returned to the motel room minutes later and engaged in sexual activity with the women, who said they felt compelled to cooperate because he was an officer, Heck said.

Sanderson was arrested after the women from the motel incident reported what happened, and news of his arrest prompted the other accusers to report their allegations to police, Heck said.

California
Human smuggler sentenced to more than 8 years

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A notorious human smuggler who struck a U.S. Border Patrol agent in the face with a rock after a foiled smuggling attempt in California has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

Martel Velencia-Cortez was convicted in May of assault on a federal officer and three counts of human smuggling for financial gain. The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reports the 39-year-old was sentenced by a federal judge on Monday.

Agents came upon Valencia-Cortez as he was smuggling 14 people through rocky terrain near the mountains of eastern San Diego County in 2015. Officials say he hurled a softball-sized rock at the agents, striking one in the face. Valencia-Cortez ran back across the U.S.-Mexico border and escaped, but turned himself in to authorities six months later.

Pennsylvania

Man granted retrial because of sleepy attorney admits guilt

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Pennsylvania businessman who won a new trial because his first lawyer fell asleep during proceedings has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

James Nassida pleaded guilty to wire and bank fraud at federal court in Pittsburgh Tuesday morning.

Federal agents say Nassida and his sister led a scheme to inflate borrower income and assets to obtain millions in fraudulent loans through their mortgage brokerage firm. The scheme was among the largest investigated by the local mortgage fraud task force.

Nassida's sister killed herself after the two were convicted last year.

However, a judge ruled Nassida was denied a fair trial because attorney Stan Levenson dozed off during the October trial where he was convicted.

Published: Wed, Aug 30, 2017

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