Nuisance laws could be used against massage parlor

March 31, 1997


Staff Writer

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson said he will review state nuisance laws to determine if they can be applied against a Shippensburg massage parlor.

Nelson said state laws on the books provide criminal penalties for maintaining a public nuisance, but would not say if he would take action against the massage parlor.

The review stems from a letter to Nelson from state Rep. Jeffrey Coy, D-Franklin. Coy has been a supporter of a group that has been picketing the Presidential Suite massage parlor at Interstate 81 Exit 9 since November 1995


"I absolutely feel that the community has tolerated the existence (of the establishment) long enough," Coy wrote in a letter to Nelson. "Many arrests and convictions have taken place here and I believe it is time to pursue the public nuisance laws."

At least four women employees of the massage parlor have been charged with prostitution since 1995 by undercover state police investigators, according to officials. The most recent arrest was last fall, Nelson said.

Two women employees of Presidential Suites who declined to give their names Monday said all four of the women who were arrested for prostitution have either quit or been fired. "We don't do anything illegal in here. Anyone who does is fired," said one of the women who would identify herself only as "Denise."

The women refused to allow a tour of the building that looks like a typical vinyl-sided ranch house. They were interviewed in the "gift shop," a room in which sexually oriented merchandise and videos are sold.

Neither woman would identify the owner of Presidential Suite.

Meanwhile, leaders of Shippensburg Citizens Rallying Against Pornography vowed Monday to continue their vigil until they force the facility to close.

Fred and Rose Dillner, both 66, of Shippensburg, are the force behind the picketing, which they say goes on in two-hour shifts for 18 hours a day.

They were among four pickets walking the highway fence in front of the parlor at 775 Olde Scotland Road despite Monday afternoon's bitterly cold winds.

Rose Dillner said a total of about 160 regular volunteers plus "30 or 40 substitutes" regularly volunteer to picket the massage parlor. "We picket a couple of times a week, usually until 2 a.m.," Rose Dillner said.

She said the pickets check the license tags of vehicles going into the massage parlor "for our own information."

"We picket because were are opposed to what they're doing in there and because we don't want this kind of business sitting on the entrance to our community," Fred Dillner said. The massage parlor is about 11/2 miles from Shippensburg.

"We're nonconfrontational, but our presence here has deterred some customers from going in," Rose Dillner said.

One of the women inside the parlor agreed that the pickets have discouraged some patrons from coming inside.

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