By joe gorman
A woman accused of running a brothel on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown was sentenced to two years’ probation Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Maureen Sweeney also followed a request by prosecutors to have Susan Sackela, 60, of South Saratoga Avenue pay $30,000 in restitution to pay the cost of the investigation. To date she has paid $3,000.
The sentence was a recommendation by prosecutors. Sackela pleaded guilty in October to two counts of pandering obscenity, which is a fifth-degree felony.
She originally had been charged with promoting prostitution, which is a fourth-degree felony, said Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Trapp.
Trapp said the prosecutors offered the plea deal because of potential issues at trial.
Sackela was charged in September 2011 with running the brothel out of a home in the 4700 block of Mahoning Avenue.
The charges came after an 18-month investigation by the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force and the Austintown Police Department.
Township police began receiving complaints about the home in 2009, and the investigation began in March 2010.
A search of the home during the investigation revealed a fully stocked bar and a room with a dancer’s pole. Police said several of the women who worked for Sackela were local, but some came from out of town and would stay at the home for short periods of time so they would not raise suspicions.
In court, Sackela gave a very short statement in which she apologized.
Sackela advertised, police said. Under the guise of a legitimate business seeking dancers, Sackela used the headings “Golden Girls Private Dancers” or “Lip Stick & High Heels.”