Female workers get light sentences in sex ring case

Jun 29 2011 - 11:09am

DETROIT -- In the end, each of the women got a break.

Laurie Carr, the so-called madam of the Miami Companions escort service -- who faced a year in prison for running the massive prostitution agency -- was sentenced to one day in prison Tuesday after a federal judge concluded prison wasn't the best place for her.

The same went for Michelle Matarrazzo, an office manager who booked the appointments for the escorts and customers. She received a one-day prison sentence Monday.

A third woman who ran the call centers in Panama and Costa Rica avoided prison altogether.

Not so for Gregory Carr, the accused mastermind who ran the sex ring for decades with Laurie Carr, his now-ex wife. He got a 14-month prison sentence last month.

The government had argued for a 12-month-plus-one-day prison sentence for Laurie Carr. But U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Tarnow concluded a one-day prison sentence, followed by two years of supervised release, was an appropriate punishment for Carr.

"The lifestyle that I led in my past was absolutely despicable," Carr said at her sentencing hearing, maintaining that she had changed her life even before her arrest last summer. "The most important thing to me is my son and taking care of him."

Gregory Carr was in the courtroom during his ex-wife's sentencing. The two have a child together. His lawyer, Tampa, Fla., attorney Paul DeCailly, said there are no hard feelings about Laurie Carr getting a lighter sentence.

"It's bittersweet. From a father's perspective, this is the best thing that could happen for his son," DeCailly said. "Now (the child) doesn't have to watch both his mother and father go to jail."

Laurie and Gregory Carr were among five people indicted last summer on charges that they ran what the government dubbed one of the largest sex rings in the U.S., charging up to $500 an hour for sex to about 30,000 clients nationwide.

The case netted guilty pleas from all five defendants.

(c) 2011, Detroit Free Press.

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


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