Northeast Times

Four women charged after Tacony prostitution bust

A mort­gage com­pany, a po­di­at­rist, an in­vest­ment firm, a tan­ning salon and a Web mar­ket­ing con­sult­ant have all called the same Ta­cony store­front home in re­cent years, ac­cord­ing to vari­ous on­line dir­ect­or­ies.

Last week, Phil­adelphia po­lice linked yet an­oth­er type of busi­ness to 6830 Tor­res­dale Ave. It’s also been a house of pros­ti­tu­tion, ac­cord­ing to of­ficers in the de­part­ment’s vice en­force­ment unit.

Po­lice ar­res­ted three al­leged hook­ers and their madam there on Jan. 15 after the wo­men so­li­cited sex for cash from an un­der­cov­er vice unit in­vest­ig­at­or, au­thor­it­ies claim.

Com­plaints to po­lice from cit­izens triggered the sting op­er­a­tion. The wo­men al­legedly fash­ioned them­selves as “mas­sage ther­ap­ists,” po­lice said.

The al­leged pros­ti­tutes in­clude two Frank­ford wo­men: Christina Bo­hnert, 26, of the 5000 block of Griscom St., and Brenda Dav­ila, 39, of the 4600 block of Griscom St., along with Aneisah Scott, 20, of the 5600 block of McMa­hon St. in East Ger­man­town, and Lisa Ann King­ston, 52, of Croy­don, Bucks County. All four were charged with so­li­cit­ing and pro­mot­ing pros­ti­tu­tion as well as con­spir­acy. King­ston was charged as the “own­er” of the “house,” while the oth­ers were charged as “in­mates.” Po­lice did not in­dic­ate that any of the wo­men were be­ing held against their will.

All four were re­leased from po­lice cus­tody on their own re­cog­niz­ance, but Scott was then taken in­to cus­tody by Mont­gomery County au­thor­it­ies for vi­ol­at­ing pro­ba­tion on a pri­or as­sault and theft case there. King­ston has an ex­tens­ive crim­in­al re­cord in Phil­adelphia dat­ing to 1976 with con­vic­tions for drug pos­ses­sion, in­sur­ance fraud, for­gery, theft, re­tail theft, crim­in­al mis­chief, DUI and oth­er of­fenses. In ad­di­tion, she is await­ing sen­ten­cing in a 2012 DUI/drug case.

Dav­ila and Bo­hnert have no pri­or con­vic­tions in the city, re­cords show. Last June, however, Bo­hnert was among five wo­men and one man ar­res­ted by Delaware County au­thor­it­ies in con­nec­tion with a pros­ti­tu­tion ring at a Ti­nic­um Town­ship hotel. In Decem­ber, Bo­hnert pleaded guilty and was sen­tenced to one year pro­ba­tion.

Bar­bara and Glen Ros­en­wald of Boyn­ton Beach, Fla., are the re­gistered own­ers of the two-story, middle-of-row com­mer­cial prop­erty on Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue. A mes­sage left for the own­ers via a prop­erty man­ager was not re­turned. The man­ager said that the first-floor rent­al unit is now va­cant.

The op­er­at­or of the Web mar­ket­ing busi­ness oc­cupy­ing the second floor told the North­east Times he had grown sus­pi­cious of the down­stairs ten­ants in re­cent months.

The En­tour­age Group LLC ren­ted both floors of the build­ing from mid-2009 in­to 2010, said one com­pany of­fi­cial, who re­ques­ted an­onym­ity. When his com­pany downs­ized, it va­cated the first floor. Per­haps a year later, the wo­men and their cli­ents began show­ing up.

The wo­men kept to them­selves and didn’t dis­cuss their busi­ness with him. Even­tu­ally, one of the down­stairs work­ers told him they were pro­du­cing films on the first floor. Last sum­mer, the wo­men’s air con­di­tion­er failed, so he went down­stairs to help them. He didn’t see any cam­er­as in their space, he said.

The place seemed busiest when it first opened, par­tic­u­larly at night and on week­ends, the up­stairs ten­ant said. Most of the cus­tom­ers ap­peared to be older men, with many driv­ing vehicles with New Jer­sey tags.

The En­tour­age Group has a sep­ar­ate en­trance. The name is ab­bre­vi­ated as “The E” on a sign out­side. It re­mains open for busi­ness.

Joe Nicoletti, pres­id­ent of the Ta­cony Town Watch, said his or­gan­iz­a­tion com­plained to au­thor­it­ies sev­er­al months ago about the site as part of a broad­er plan to rid the neigh­bor­hood of pros­ti­tu­tion and drugs.

The po­di­at­rist, mort­gage com­pany and in­vest­ment firm all oc­cu­pied the prop­erty pri­or to The En­tour­age Group. On­line list­ings iden­ti­fied yet an­oth­er busi­ness, de­scribed as an “en­ter­tain­ment” com­pany, for the site. The En­tour­age Group of­fi­cial said that the firm oc­cu­pied the first floor after he had va­cated it.

Last Septem­ber, City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on re­por­ted that the ad­dress had been re­ferred to the city’s De­part­ment of Streets as a “short dump­ing” site. Some­body had dumped about a dozen bags of trash on the side­walk out­side the store­front.

The En­tour­age Group of­fi­cial said that the block seems to have a lot of foot traffic dur­ing the day­time, but re­tail stores gen­er­ally don’t last there. Mostly, pro­fes­sion­al of­fices and dis­count stores seem to have more longev­ity. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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