The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor zoning violation in a plea agreement.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A man charged with running a business that allowed prostitution pleaded guilty to reduced charges Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Dean J. Carson, 43, of North Pricetown Road, Diamond, was fined $500 by Judge James C. Evans for a misdemeanor zoning violation. He was originally charged with promoting prostitution, but prosecutors reduced the charge in exchange for his plea.
Assistant Prosecutor Jay Macejko said the outcome of some companion cases in the Austintown area court was the primary reason for the reduction.
Carson was among several people arrested during a raid at Dean's Place, a bar on Pricetown Road in Milton Township, in November. He was the only one charged with a felony, Macejko said.
Two of those who were charged with misdemeanors were found innocent after trials in the Austintown court. One was a dancer at the establishment and one was a man who fought with police during the raid, Macejko said.
"I was concerned because of the Austintown cases. We would have had to use the same witnesses" in Carson's case, Macejko said. "The two cases that were tried ended up in acquittals. There's no reason to believe we had any better chance in common pleas court."
Macejko said Carson was the titled owner of the bar but was not present the night of the raid. The ownership was also in question because Carson was in the process of selling the business, Macejko said.
He said there was no evidence of actual intercourse taking place inside the establishment, though the conduct of dancers who worked there "fit sexual activity as it is described in the law."
Carson's attorney, Joseph Gardner, could not be reached to comment.