Judge Says D.C. Madam Can’t Demand Documents From ABC


POSTED: 10:43 am EST January 17, 2008
UPDATED: 11:07 am EST January 17, 2008


WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that a woman accused of running a high-end Washington prostitution ring can’t demand documents from ABC News as part of her defense strategy. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said federal rules prohibit criminal defendants from using subpoenas merely to gather facts to help prepare for trial. Deborah Palfrey provided ABC with access to her escort service’s telephone records for a May segment of “20/20.” After combing through those records, reporters said they traced numbers back to a Justice Department prosecutor, NASA officials and military officers. None of the officials was named in the report. Palfrey said she has been unable to locate those officials herself, and subpoenaed ABC to see exactly what it uncovered. She contends those clients can verify that her company was an “erotic fantasy service,” not a prostitution ring.


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