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Go Go Cabaret corruption case goes to Mahoning court today



Published: Mon, May 16, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

photo

Sebastian Rucci

By Elise Franco

efranco@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Go Go Cabaret owner Sebastian Rucci and Mahoning County prosecutors will finally have their sides heard, more than a year after the business owner was charged in a multiple-count indictment alleging illicit activities at his club.

Today is opening day of the trial in which Rucci and four others — Curtis “C.J.” Jones, Derrick L. Dozier, Wayne Penny and Peter E. Sciullo II — are charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, perjury and two counts each of promoting prostitution.

Additionally, Robert Neill, former cabaret manager and the former sole shareholder, is charged with one count of promoting prostitution, according to court records.

Maureen A. Sweeney, of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, was originally assigned to the case.

It was reassigned to visiting Judge Thomas P. Curran, of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, after several capital cases were assigned to Judge Sweeney’s docket, said Robert Bush, a former assistant Mahoning County prosecutor who is still helping with the case.

“She had several capital cases coming up, and her docket became very congested,” he said.

Bush said if all runs smoothly in the morning, jury selection could begin as early as this afternoon.

“They don’t like to have the jury pool just sitting around,” he said. “We may actually start jury selection after lunch.”

Rucci, who is defending himself, said jury selection has the potential to take time because of media coverage of the club over the past several years.

“A lot of what we have to do in picking the jury is decide how polluted they might be,” he said. “There’s been a lot of information out there.”

Rucci said when it comes time to present evidence and testimony, he’s ready to counter whatever the prosecution brings to the table.

“We’ve always been comfortable about the evidence,” Rucci said. He said much of the prosecution’s case is based on several hours of tapes confiscated from the club during a drug raid in May 2009.

Gina Bricker, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, previously said video evidence taken from the club’s surveillance computers “depicted women engaging in sex acts for hire.”

Rucci said he’s seen the tapes, which he said depict female employees giving private lap dances for male customers.

“Maybe some people hate it, that could be, but that doesn’t mean it’s illegal,” he said.

The indictments also list the Go Go Cabaret, 5455 Clarkins Drive Inc. and Triple-G Investments — all of 5455 Clarkins Drive — as charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity with a forfeiture specification.

The specification states that “all property contained within the building located at 5455 Clarkins Drive” and “any and all assets relative to the account held in the name of Triple-G Investments” are subject to forfeiture.

Bush said the evidence will speak for itself during the trial. He said the prosecution put together a strong case over the past 13 months and is ready to move forward. “We’re going to put a case on that we believe will come out with a finding of guilty,” he said. “The basis [of the case] is, basically, Rucci wanted to run a brothel in Austintown — and that’s illegal.”


Comments

1MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Go Go gadget handcuffs.

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2TAXEDOFF(118 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Looks like Rucci wasn't taking care of the right people.

Wonder why the club on the other side of the freeway (Club 76) with a revolving back door to the massage parlor next door hasn't been busted.

Seems like he's well connected in typical Mahoning County politics meaning he has certain officials making it difficult for any competition.

Who owns Club 76?

Rucci seems to be the victim of selective prosecution.

YOU WOULD THINK LAW ENFORCEMENT WOULD HAVE MORE SERIOUS THINGS TO DO THAN GET INVOLVED IN A FEUD BETWEEN STRIP CLUB OWNERS!

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Isnt Robert Neal connected to Mark Hanni?

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4author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Sory folks, forgot to ask you all if you remember if Rucci had something to do with money being spent on Yavorchik's campaign?

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

It's all about sweeping up the trash .

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6Bigben(1996 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

One less whore house would a good thing.

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Hope they do not come out here to Boardman !!!!! We got enough at the Holiday Inn . We could end up with cats fights on 224

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8problems(8 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

If a lapdance is considered prostitution, then I should be feeding my dog catfood. 2 separate issues!!

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9LowerCaseG(11 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

Samlam,

That comment is not only incredibly stupid, but also insensitive to the seriousness of the rape and sex abuse cases. You not only succeeded in making yourself look uneducated and ignorant, but also managed to offend those who have or know someone who have been victims to these types of traumatic experiences. Gain some perspective and get educated.

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10VindyPost(436 comments)posted 3 years, 4 months ago

LowerCase,

Right on...(should have written it in CAPS) Please do not allow the ignorance and stupidity of another offend you. That's why that comment came in---just to heighten chaos and disturbance. (attention grabber) Perhaps, pray for the twisted ones. As Stan says, sweep the trash.

In due time, the doors will close and relief to all. (only at that location, though).

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