LAWRENCE (CBS) — Less than two years after admitting her New Hampshire weight loss clinic was a front for prostitution, Lori Barron was in court to deny a similar situation at her Lawrence ‘Spa For Gentlemen.”
Employees of the spa have told police she’s a master at recruiting troubled, desperate women, coercing them into sex acts with clients and then blackmailing them with videotapes and threats to keep them working.
Barron was arraigned in Lawrence District Court Tuesday and held on $30,000 bail.
Several months ago, police say Barron moved her spa into 7 Broadway, on the second floor of a busy, but nondescript string of stores.
On Tuesday, the judge impounded all documents in the case.
But Barron’s former attorney Thomas Torrisi says he has been named him as a spa client – an accusation he calls “ludicrous.”
“Allegations alone can be devastating,” Torrisi said. “I will fight to protect my name and my reputation from here until eternity.”
Prosecutors say Barron is a hot-tempered madam who screened the ID’s and license plates of her customers and unleashed fury on her working girls when their bogus massage sessions didn’t conclude with a ‘happy ending.’
Employees told police they made more than $1,000 a week and that Barron had suitcases stuffed with cash.
Late Tuesday, Barron was still trying to make bond on charges that include prostitution, extortion and human trafficking.