A Westchester couple were charged with promoting prostitution from their home. And what's more, the Journal News describes thirty-four-year-old Robert Werner and his 32-year-old wife Heather Mazzenga as "victims of the housing market"!
The New Rochelle Police had been doing their rountine monitoring of Craigslist and became suspicious when they saw a few ads, including one that said, "Grand Opening Special! Hot models, soft sensual touch...New Rochelle has Westchester's first and only member's only club for men and women...We offer role play, fetishes, light body rubs, body rejuvenation and dominatrix." When they arrived, they arrested four women for prostitution and practicing massage without a license.
One of the woman denied there was prostitution, explaining to the Journals News that it was "consensual voyeurism" and saying, "There was no penetration, there was no genital or body touching for money. It was completely voyeuristic behavior and self-expression." The brothel was being run out of a house in New Rochelle that's across the street from the Thomas Paine Cottage. Common sense - ha!
Police believe that troubles in the housing market caused the couple's financial troubles (Werner and Mazzenga had filed for bankruptcy a few days earlier and narrowly avoided having their home in Pleasantville foreclosed), but that didn't mean much to neighbors. One told the Journal News, "I knew he couldn't unload the house. A lot of people can't sell their houses, but they don't open brothels. He's just the jerk to drop something like that in here. There are 22 kids who live in the surrounding houses."