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Appeals court reinstates prostitution charges against 19 Austintown cabaret dancers

Published: Tue, January 1, 2013 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken



The 7th District Court of Appeals has reinstated misdemeanor prostitution charges against 19 dancers charged with engaging in sex for hire at the Go Go Girls Cabaret in Austintown.

The appellate court ruled Monday that Judge David D’Apolito of Mahoning Count Area Court, Austintown, erred in granting the dancers’ motion to remove from evidence the cabaret’s computers and the surveillance videos they contained, which were seized by police using a search warrant.

“The security camera recordings do not violate state or federal wiretap laws,” the appeals court said of the recordings showing dancers performing for patrons in the cabaret’s private rooms.

The state, which filed the appeal, said the videos offered evidence of prostitution that allegedly occurred in April and May of 2009.

Because the dancers “failed to meet their burden of proof to challenge the seized evidence, the trial court had no basis on which to suppress the videos,” the three-judge panel ruled.

The appellate court also ruled that Judge D’Apolito erred in dismissing the charges because he “went beyond the scope of a pretrial motion to suppress by viewing and evaluating the evidence that formed the basis for the state’s case.”

Neither county prosecutors, nor the dancers’ lawyers could be reached for comment late Monday.

The 19 defendants are Amanda Wallace, Loni Fredenberg, Jessica Scarsella, Amanda Barbe, Ericka Jackson, April Ellis, Michelle Benner, Jasmin Roque, Stephanie Yash, Amanda Sherrill, Leann Phillips, Cassandra Fricker, Mary Pratt, Trisha Narkum, Nicole Montecalvo, Tiffany Smith, Kara Mumford, Shannon Surrena, and Brandi McNair.

The unanimous three-judge panel consisted of Judge Cheryl L. Waite, who wrote the decision, and Judge Joseph J. Vukovich, both of the 7th District Court, and Judge Frank D. Celebrezze Jr., of the 8th District Court of Appeals, who sat as a visiting judge.


1ulistenup(95 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Why is this an important decision? Because the community needs to be protected from filth posing as art.

We have reached the point in our society where "privacy rights" and freedom of speech have legitimized all sorts of abhorrent conduct.

From abortion to "same-sex marriage" to open blasphemy our culture is sinking under its own weight in immorality.

Personal freedom trumps everything. Laws against sodomy are history and our entertainment industry in this permissive society has sullied our living rooms with wall-to-wall indecency.

Children are exposed at ever younger ages to the seedy side of life. Worship of things has replaced reverence towards God.

Human life has lesser and lesser value and kids are nothing more than possessions to some.

Some may say, "Who Cares?" or "What's the big deal?" when they read this article - but it is up to legitimate centers of authority (especially courts) to re-establish moral standards.

Our judicial system has been the cause of much of the degradation we have experienced - by declaring that what were once commonly regarded as criminal acts ... now are constitutionally protected activities.

We've just recently had a major political party endorse the unfettered right to abortion.

Leaders need TO LEAD in this fight for the integrity of the nation's conscience.

I hope that our leaders, including our judges, once again enforce commonly accepted standards - so we can return to some semblance of decency this new year.

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2UsuallyBlunt(105 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Technically, all of the "Baby Factories" living on welfare are prostitutes as well! When is this "career' going to be made "illegal"? The Go-Go girls were just doing what they do, you know what kind of activities take place at those establishments and can choose not to participate....that is not true with the former set of whores...if you work - you pay...through taxation!

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3TB(1167 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Bigotry, racism, genocide, etc. are all parts of our history too.

Your one-track mind tying every issue to abortion takes away your credibility.

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4islandgrump(59 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Never once have we heard of anyone who was "forced" into sex with a hooker. Never once have we heard of anyone being "forced" into a gambling house and "made" to gamble. Legalize it all, tax it to death and lets move on to important things in life

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5excel(940 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

So a DOWNTOWN CABARET would could be an asset to Youngstown?

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6ulistenup(95 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago


Legalize it all? Really? Nationally?

Legalize euthanasia? Legalize prostitution? Legalize sex with minors? Legalize marriage between two consenting adults - regardless of sex or existing relationships (e.g.between an aunt and a niece, or between two sisters)? Legalize every other vice and act of moral depravity?

Please give your reasons for this wholesale "selling out" of all our moral standards.

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Right viny I heard they moved from under the BHS football stadium to the club when it got cold outside .

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