"I think that Mr.
Booska has learned his lesson," Chittenden County Prosecutor T.J. Donovan
said. "You can't turn a blind-eye when your tenants are engaged in
Thomas Booska says he
won't admit to or deny allegations that he knowingly allowed massage parlor
workers to exchange sex acts for money at his rental property in Williston. But
he is willing to accept the consequences. The 68-year-old pleaded no contest to
one misdemeanor count Friday. As part of a deal with prosecutors, he donated
$500 to a charity that fights human trafficking. He will avoid serving a
two-year sentence and the record will be expunged if he can avoid further
"I think there was a
rush on both sides and it just made sense to resolve it this way. Mr. Booska's
never had any problems before, he'll never have any problems again and he'll
come out of this with a clean record," said Kurt Hughes, Booska's lawyer.
"If this case went to
trial, we would have frankly had a lot of challenges given the fact that we
don't have witnesses anymore," Donovan said.
Though his criminal case
is closed, federal prosecutors are demanding the deed to the Williston Spa
property because its operators allegedly used human trafficking to bring in sex
workers. But Donovan says the state won't prosecute them because they can't be
found. Operators packed and fled, which is common in cases like these.
"We license barbers;
we license tattoo artists. And getting a massage-- in my opinion-- is a much
more intimate experience than getting your hair cut," Donovan said.
Donovan says a simple
change like licensure would discourage and help prosecute prostitution
ring-leaders. He says more importantly, it could help free the women operators
have trapped in the industry.
Booska says he will fight
the feds to keep his property. There's no timeline yet for when he may go to
court for that part of the case.
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:52:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
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Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:01 GMT
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington. Police say Grace Maddaloni, 88, disappeared Wednesday after what they called a "disagreement." Because of her age and being in theMore >>
A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 7:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:07:19 GMT
IBM and chip production may soon be parting ways. The Wall Street Journal reports that Big Blue is looking to unload three chipmaking plants-- two in upstate New York and its Vermont plant in Essex Junction.More >>
With indications IBM may sell off its chipmaking plants, we talked to the company experts say may buy them. GlobalFoundries already has employees working at IBM in Essex Junction through a partnership, and experts say that could help the company decide whether the plant is a worthy investment.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:04:45 GMT
Darn Tough appears to be making a darn good profit. The high-end sock manufacturer out of Northfield reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever, with revenues up almost 80 percent over theMore >>
Vermont sock manufacturer Darn Tough reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever.More >>