Maple Shade woman pleads guilty to being a prostitution madam

Discussion in 'Southern NJ/Eastern PA ( Philly, Allentown...)' started by BesoMiCulo, Jan 30, 2006.

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  1. BesoMiCulo


    Monday, January 30, 2006

    Courier-Post Staff

    MOUNT HOLLY - A prostitution madam admitted today that she ran a sex-for-hire operation from motels on Route 73 in Maple Shade and Mount Laurel.

    Michelle Plaza, 29, of Maple Shade, pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution before Superior Court Judge Thomas Smith Jr. in return for less time in prison when she is sentenced March 31.

    Plaza was charged with using two to three dozen women, including a 16-year-old runaway from Camden County, in a prostitution ring that operated for at least three years in motels in Maple Shade and Mount Laurel from 2002 to 2005. She also was charged with using a juvenile in a criminal enterprise.

    The plea agreement with assistant Burlington County prosecutor Stephen Bodnar calls for Plaza to receive up to four years in prison instead of facing the maximum 20 years if she were tried and convicted.

    In response to questions from defense attorney Jay Keesler, Plaza acknowledged she advertised her business in local newspapers as an escort service and charged $125 to $150 per customer.

    Authorities learned of the ring after the teenager left the operation and returned to her home. Bodnar said the girl was given refuge in October 2004 by Plaza, who forced her to work as a prostitute.

    Plaza was arrested Aug. 4 at a Maple Shade motel. She has been in the Burlington County Minimum Security Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail since then.