No big names revealed in D.C. escort scandal

first_imgWASHINGTON – No new high-profile clients were identified Friday night when a woman accused of running a Washington, D.C.-area prostitution ring revealed details about her business in a television interview. Deborah Jeane Palfrey supplied the ABC newsmagazine “20/20” with 46 pounds of phone records from her escort service, Pamela Martin and Associates, in hopes that its investigation would ferret out clients who would testify that they did not engage in sexual activity with the women Palfrey employed. Palfrey did identify one of her escorts, a former university professor who later committed suicide after being charged with prostitution, but did not drop any client names. Some of the phone records could be tracked to prominent business executives, NASA officials, at least five military officers and exclusive neighborhood mansions, according to the ABC report. But there were no members of Congress or White House officials traced through Palfrey’s records. “I was selling fantasy sex,” Palfrey said. When asked whether some of her women may have broken her rules and engaged in illegal sex acts, Palfrey said, “I sure hope not.” Palfrey, 51, of Vallejo, Calif., is charged in federal court with racketeering and money laundering associated with prostitution. She said she ran the business from her laundry room. “These were not cheap women. These were very nice women who just needed to make a few extra dollars,” Palfrey said. The most prominent client of Palfrey’s business was senior State Department official Randall Tobias, who resigned from his post last week after ABC confronted him about his use of the service. Tobias previously directed international AIDS relief programs for the Bush administration that promote abstinence and require grant recipients to sign a pledge opposing prostitution. Tobias has said he obtained massages but denied having sex with the escorts. The Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis said Thursday that he canceled plans to give a May 13 commencement speech. In court papers filed last month, Palfrey named Harlan Ullman, known as an author of the “shock and awe” combat strategy, as a regular customer. Ullman’s attorney, Marc Mukasey, said Friday that Palfrey should not assume that Ullman will give helpful testimony on her behalf. He declined to elaborate.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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