Cuyahoga County

The Bedford Judge and the Brothel Bust

3/3/2014 The office on the top floor of the Walsh Professional Center had no name, just two signs on the glass door. "Welcome to," read a row of etched black script letters with empty glass below them. "No Soliciting," warned red letters on a white plaque near the lock. Behind the reception desk hung a hint at the nature of the business: a framed mirror-image silhouette of a woman's legs, her feet in high heels.

The masseuses, in their 20s and early 30s, came to work dressed in sweatshirts, pants and flip-flops, their hair in ponytails. Sometimes they'd stop, laundry baskets full of sheets in hand, to chat with the workers at Cash-2-U Leasing on the first floor. One offered a saleswoman who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis a massage to ease her aches. It all seemed pretty legitimate to the Cash-2-U Leasing ladies, who didn't expect a dozen or so Bedford police and federal agents to rush through the lobby of the building and race to the third floor.

The raid lasted the entire afternoon of Sept. 30, 2013. Police arrested three women, collected evidence in three "massage rooms" and seized about $7,000 in cash, seven cellphones, 10 computers and a credit-card reader.

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