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D.C. Madam Announces Her Own Trial

The "D.C. Madam" who ensnared Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in her den of iniquity, so to speak, is finally getting her say in court. Unfortunately for her, a full trial is scheduled for April 7th in U.S. District Court in Washington, according to an email the so-called madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, circulated to her email list Thursday.

The trial, it should be noted, has nothing to do with Vitter, whose telephone number repeatedly showed up on phone records of Palfrey's old escort service, Pamela Martin & Associates. Vitter apologized last summer for the embarrassing revelation, which he called "a very serious sin."

While he admitted using whatever services were provided by Palfrey's employees, he denied having a long-term affair with a prostitute in New Orleans' French Quarter. As Louisiana luck would have it, the senator continued serving in the Senate with no repercussions. Since he used the services of Pamela Martin & Associates before he was elected as a U.S. senator, the Senate ethics committee had no authority to punish him.

Palfrey is facing federal charges of racketeering, money laundering and conspiracy, accused of running a prostitution ring that netted more than $2 million over 13 years.

In her email Thursday, Palfrey continued to defend Pamela Martin & Associates as a legitimate business.

"Without doubt, I am in the fight of my life," Palfrey wrote. "Unfortunately, the Government will not capitulate, nor will I in this extremely bizarre case; one, where no person other than myself -- including all former clients and escorts -- is being charged with any crime here. Technically the Government has been successful in making the charges against me work on paper. As a result, I have no choice-- nor have I ever had any alternative -- but to fight on and clear my name via the facts of the case, particularly since -- if convicted, federal sentencing guidelines allow for a maximum sentence of 55 years imprisonment."

Palfrey says "realistically" she would likely receive only "8 to 10 to 15 years" in prison but still, she said, at her age -- 51 -- "such a harsh penalty would be tantamount to a virtual life sentence -- stripping me of some of the most productive years remaining in my life."

Vitter was spared the embarrassment of having to testify in the D.C. Madam case when U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler cancelled a scheduled November 2007 hearing at which he was to describe what exactly transpired as a result of his phone calls to Palfrey's escort service. Vitter's phone number appeared six times on Palfrey's phone records between 1999 and 2001.

Vitter, who'll be up for reelection in 2010, has been keeping a low profile ever since last summer's revelation. Though his fundraising has picked up lately -- but even they aren't without controversy.

King of smut Larry Flynt, who helped ensnare Vitter in the whole sordid Madam mess, as the Sleuth reported here, sent some of his "girls" clad in tight Hustler t-shirts to greet donors arriving at a Vitter fundraiser on Feb. 16 at the New Orleans Aquarium. The event netted Vitter $400,000 -- not a bad get considering the buxom disruption. (The D.C. Examiner wrote about the event, which you can read here.)

By Mary Ann Akers  |  February 28, 2008; 5:39 PM ET
 
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Comments

$2 million over 13 years ???

That must be one of the worse [least] racketeering takes in history.

How about a misdemeanor plea to the common law offense of 'larceny by snatch' instead. Or does the government feel compelled to likewise spend big bucks on this case?

Posted by: brucerealtor | February 28, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

No Bar Exam questions appear on the common law offense known as 'larceny by snatch.'

I first heard of this offense as a young lawyer, while in now Ret. Judge NORMAN's Courtroom in the old Superior Court for DC, many years ago.

A case was called by the balliff, "Mr. John Henry," whereupon the Defendant, an elderly African-American gentleman, who was bracing each step he took with a sturdy cane, approached the Defendant's table accompanied by his Counsel -- a Member in GOOD STANDING of the DC Bar.

A female assistant US Attorney called the first witness for the government, a buxom blond white female undercover officer from MPD to the stand, where she was sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

O F F I C E R -- Directing your attention to the Ecks day of the Why month of this year, did you have an occasion to pl;ace the Defendant under arrest and if so, would you please tell the Court what occurred.

Yes MAM. I was working undercover with the Vice Section of MPD when at approximately 14th & T Streets, the Defendant, seated next to his attorney at counsel table, came up to me and said:

Baby -- you be the best thing I have ever laid my eyes on out here, so tell you what I'm a gona do for you. I'll give you $5 for a phucque and $2 for a BJ and at that point, YOUR HONOR, I placed the Defendant under arrest.

JUDGE NORMAN -- That's not solicitation, Officer -- that's Larceny by Trick !!!

Skipping to the end of the case, Judge Norman found the Defendant GUILTY and imposed a JUST SENTENCE under the totality of the circumstances of the case.

THE DEFENDANT IS FINED $7. NEXT CASE !!!

Posted by: brucerealtor | February 28, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

No Bar Exam questions appear on the common law offense known as 'larceny by snatch.'

I first heard of this offense as a young lawyer, while in now Ret. Judge NORMAN's Courtroom in the old Superior Court for DC, many years ago.

A case was called by the balliff, "Mr. John Henry," whereupon the Defendant, an elderly African-American gentleman, who was bracing each step he took with a sturdy cane, approached the Defendant's table accompanied by his Counsel -- a Member in GOOD STANDING of the DC Bar.

A female assistant US Attorney called the first witness for the government, a buxom blond white female undercover officer from MPD to the stand, where she was sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

O F F I C E R -- Directing your attention to the Ecks day of the Why month of this year, did you have an occasion to pl;ace the Defendant under arrest and if so, would you please tell the Court what occurred.

Yes MAM. I was working undercover with the Vice Section of MPD when at approximately 14th & T Streets, the Defendant, seated next to his attorney at counsel table, came up to me and said:

Baby -- you be the best thing I have ever laid my eyes on out here, so tell you what I'm a gona do for you. I'll give you $5 for a phucque and $2 for a BJ and at that point, YOUR HONOR, I placed the Defendant under arrest.

JUDGE NORMAN -- That's not solicitation, Officer -- that's Larceny by Trick !!!

Skipping to the end of the case, Judge Norman found the Defendant GUILTY and imposed a JUST SENTENCE under the totality of the circumstances of the case.

THE DEFENDANT IS FINED $7. NEXT CASE !!!

Posted by: brucerealtor | February 28, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

WaPo please keep up with this story. The morals in DC and in the Federal Court System are always a source of interest in the provinces.

Posted by: Spectator | February 28, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Good way to get at Vitter--Start off with the DC Madam line then convict him...great work.

Posted by: smizgala@aol.com | March 2, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind all this happened over the course of 13 years of operating the escort service by phone and e-mail and during the NSA's intensified wiretap program, and it slid right past them. Reporters uncovered this one. Sleep well tonight; the NSA will too.

Posted by: drewmatthews48@hotmail.com | March 3, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

If he keeps it up, the Hustler girls should be good for fundraising. Free entertainment!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 3, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Though I do not condone the selling of ones body, I don't think the government should send you to jail because you didn't give them a percentage of the money you earned for performing a service. I think the taxpayer's dollars would be better spent procecuting murders, narcotics trafficers, rapist, child molesters, those that prey on the elderly, etc.

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