Woman accused of running a brothel

By Elise Franco



A township woman accused of running a brothel out of her home was arraigned Monday on related charges.

Susan E. Sackela, 58, who also goes by Susan E. Crawford, appeared in Mahoning County Area Court in Austintown on two charges of promoting prostitution and a charge of procuring.

Sackela, of South Saratoga Avenue, pleaded not guilty and will be back in court Oct. 24. She was charged after an 18-month investigation into allegations she was running a brothel out of a home at 4744 Mahoning Ave., said Police Chief Robert Gavalier.

Gavalier said police began receiving complaints about activity at the house about two years ago and in March 2010 opened an investigation.

“The house sits behind The Voodoo Lounge, kind of back in a wooded area that was secluded,” he said. “We don’t have an exact number of girls who worked for her, but some were local and some were from out of town.”

He said the women who worked for Sackela would have to stay at the house for a certain period to keep it from looking suspicious.

“They’d stay for about a week before they could leave again,” he said. “This was to keep the activity level down.”

Gavalier said a search of the home revealed a fully stocked bar and a room with a dancer’s pole.

Sackela advertised in The Vindicator, he said. Under the guise of a legitimate business seeking dancers, Sackel used the headings “Golden Girls Private Dancers” or “Lip Stick & High Heels.”

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