Despite residents’ complaints, Houston officers struggle to build cases and close illegal venues
By BRIAN ROGERS
Copyright 2009 Houston Chonicle
July 6, 2009, 11:11AM
Bart Jones remains frustrated that sexually oriented businesses, including illegal brothels, are open for business in his neighborhood after authorities closed a nearby strip club earlier this year.
“There’s too much crime associated with those businesses that we don’t want to spill over into where our children play or into our neighborhood.” said Jones, president of the Briargrove neighborhood association. “It’s been our long-held hope that we could eventually run them all out.”
Jones rallied neighbors to support authorities closing the Penthouse Club at Westheimer and Winrock in January, but says another topless bar, an adult bookstore and “massage parlors” remain nearby. Continue reading
By BRIAN ROGERS HOUSTON CHRONICLE
March 19, 2009, 8:12PM
A Houston couple arrested this month for allegedly running a high-end call girl service face prostitution charges. But it’s the money police say they made — not the illicit sex — that could send them to prison for a long time.
Frustrated by judges and juries reluctant to throw the book at people accused of what some call a victimless crime, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is taking a different tack in a few high-dollar cases by bringing money laundering charges that carry stiffer penalties. If prosecutors can prove that pimps made more than $200,000 off their enterprise through money laundering, prosecutors could win sentences of up to life in prison for the first-degree felony. The government also can seize assets.
“If you go after management, it has a more profound impact,” said Assistant District Attorney Craig Still. “Especially, if appropriate, you seize stuff that has been bought with illegal proceeds of crime. Once you start taking stuff and shutting down properties, it has more of an impact than popping the girls who are doing the sex acts.” Continue reading
1 day ago
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police say a couple arrested on prostitution charges ran a major call-girl ring that catered to “big players” in the city.
The client list totals about 1,500, police say, and the Houston Chronicle and Houston television station KHOU reported that court documents indicate that the list includes professional athletes, doctors and lawyers. The names haven’t been disclosed.
Debbie Turbiville, 33, and Charles Turbiville, 31, were free on $5,000 bond each Wednesday after their arrests last week.
Police Sgt. Mark Kilty called Debbie Turbiville “the Heidi Fleiss of Houston,” referring to the former Hollywood madam who ran a prostitution ring that catered to wealthy clients around the world before her 1995 conviction. Continue reading
Associated Press – March 18, 2009 4:45 PM ET
HOUSTON (AP) – A woman dubbed the “Heidi Fleiss of Houston” and her husband face allegations of running a sophisticated prostitution ring.
Debbie Turbiville and Charles Turbiville are free on $5,000 bond each.
Their arrest came about a year and a-half after a suspected prostitute disclosed to police her involvement in a Houston escort service that operated through Web sites.
The Houston Chronicle and KHOU-TV report the couple’s client list includes pro athletes, doctors and lawyers. The names haven’t been disclosed.
An attorney for the Turbivilles — Joe Owmby — says his clients are presumed innocent. Owmby also told The Eagle in Bryan-College Station that he couldn’t address any of the allegations.
Charles Turbiville grew up in College Station, where his father is a radio personality. Continue reading
Posted: 10:40 PM Mar 18, 2009
Last Updated: 7:49 AM Mar 19, 2009
Reporter: Jeremy Desel & Jeff McShan / KHOU 11 News
HOUSTON – Police say they have discovered some of the names alleged client list of one of the biggest call girl ring in Houston.
They have not released the names as they are still examining computer hard drives. They also say it could be several more days before forensic experts are done.
According to police, the list of more than 1,500 names is likely to include professional athletes, stockbrokers, doctors and lawyers.
“It’s very possible. If there’s a trial or some contested issue those names are likely to become public,” said Houston attorney Terry Yates. “And also the government could bring what’s called an engaging in organized crime case and list all those people as co-conspirators.” Continue reading
Thursday, February 26 02:32 pm
A 15-year-old schoolgirl from the northeast earned about 14,000 pounds over two months by working as a prostitute, it emerged on Thursday.
Her unusual weekend job was exposed when a teacher at her school in South Shields, near Newcastle, found condoms, lubricant and details of the agency she worked for in her school bag.
Police officers who searched her home found more than 8,000 pounds stashed in the attic in November last year. The girl, who cannot be named because she is a minor, is thought to have netted around 1,700 pounds per weekend.
Details of the case emerged during a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates Court on February 13 to decide what should happen to the cash.
Asa Anderson, representing Northumbria Police, told the hearing: “The money was seized after police received a phone call from a school where a teacher found a pupil’s bag. The bag was found containing certain items.”
The court decided the cash should be forfeited to the authorities.
Police said a man aged 44 and a woman aged 46 were arrested on suspicion of inciting child prostitution, but later released facing no further action. The schoolgirl herself is not thought to be facing any charges.