Saturday, July 12, 2008

Maese is convicted in Doll House case

Maese is convicted in Doll House case

Published: Saturday, July 12, 2008 12:20 a.m. MDT
Prosecutors called him a modern-day "pimp." A jury agreed late Friday, convicting Santiago Steven Maese of five felonies in connection with his former Doll House escort service.

After 4 1/2 hours of deliberation, the three-woman, five-man jury delivered unanimous verdicts on four counts of exploiting a prostitute, a third-degree felony, and one count of a pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony. He was found not guilty of money laundering, a second-degree felony.

Following the verdict, 3rd District Judge Randall Skanchy ordered a pre-sentence report and set a sentencing hearing for Sept. 8. Skanchy did not order that Maese be taken into custody, citing his clean criminal record and faithful attendance at court hearings.

Maese showed no reaction as the verdict was read and said he plans to appeal. Prosecutor Chad Platt referred to the verdict as a "victory for the rule of law."

Platt said in closing arguments Friday that despite Maese's sleek businesslike exterior, he is actually a pimp at heart — controlling, demanding and vengeful.

The prosecutor said it was naive to think that Tiffany French Curtis, Maese's former girlfriend and the co-owner of the Doll House escort service, ran the whole show and Maese knew nothing about sex-for-money.

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