Ohio massage parlors never got adequate notice, hearing postponed

Every person accused of committing a crime has the right to defend against the charges. Part of this right is not only that people have a chance to defend, but that they have the appropriate amount of time in which to build a meaningful defense.

Eight massage parlors in Ohio were recently shut down after they were accused of promoting prostitution. The parlor owners were charged with sex crimes when their establishments were shut down after a raid was conducted on May 30. A hearing to address the closures was scheduled for Monday, June 18 but the parlor owners only received notice of the hearing on Thursday or Friday, only a few days before it was set to occur.

A weekend was considered insufficient time under Ohio law to prepare for the hearing and it was rescheduled for 9 a.m. next Monday, June 25.

As a part of the hearing, 15 of the men accused of soliciting prostitution at the parlors will testify about what they observed while at the establishment. Each of these individuals could be granted immunity if it is determined that what they say during their testimony is truthful.

The result of the hearing could mean that the closing of the parlors permanently or temporarily. During the remainder of the time until the hearing, the temporary restraining order will remain in place and the parlors will stay closed pending the judge’s decision.

Although the media has already made their conclusions as to what occurred at the massage parlors, none of the accusations have been proved in a court of law. The owners of these establishments rely on the income and every day that they remain closed is one more day without income. If your livelihood is on the line, you will want to defend against charges that could put a permanent end to your business.

Source: vindy.com, “Hearing on massage parlors is postponed,” Ed Runyan, June 19, 2012