Jury receives D.C. Madam prostitution case

April 14, 2008 at 7:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- Jurors in a federal courtroom in Washington began deliberating Monday in the so-called D.C. Madam case in which an escort service was accused of prostitution.

The defense did not call any witnesses after prosecutors spent four days putting 13 women on the stand who testified they worked as call girls for defendant Deborah Jeane Palfrey, The Washington Post reported.

When the defense rested without presenting testimony, two prominent men identified as clients of the service -- Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Randall L. Tobias, a former deputy secretary of state -- had not been called to the stand.

Palfrey, who ran Pamela Martin & Associates, is charged with racketeering and money-laundering in allegedly operating an escort service the government described as a prostitution ring. She says she did not know her escorts were performing sex acts for money.

"Men do not pay $250 an hour for 90 minutes for casual conversation," prosecutor Daniel Butler told the jurors in U.S. District Court in Washington.

"These people made their own choices," defense attorney Preston Burton, said of the escorts and clients in his closing argument. Palfrey, he said, "didn't make (the decisions) for them."

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