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Brea Bennett at Twistys

July 03, 2000 03:47am
Nude Model Denies Charge of Prostitution at Studio X
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
by: Gregory Korte

(AKRON, OH) -- The police report has all of her vital information. Name: Shannon D. Mattingly. Race: W. Sex: F. Age: 29. Height: 5 foot 3. Weight: 110. Long, blond hair and brown eyes. Alias: ``Crystal.'' Then, under other physical characteristics, it says: ``Prostitute.''

Wearing a lime-green shirt and tan pants during an interview last week at her lawyer's office, Mattingly looked like anything but a prostitute. She's soft-spoken and plain-talking -- until she talks about what's happened to her in the aftermath of her arrest last month for prostitution at a ``nude modeling studio'' in Akron.

``People are calling me up, calling me a hooker, and calling my boyfriend a pimp,'' she said, breaking into tears. ``I'm afraid to look for a job now. I'm a wreck because of this. All I did was try to get a job and make some money.''

The help wanted ad said ``models and dancers wanted.'' She had never done anything like that before, but it was her boyfriend who first suggested that she might make good money at Studio X, which had just opened in a strip mall off Tallmadge Avenue.

She had been cleaning houses for a living. She called the number.

``I said, `Do you have to look like a model?' He said, `Oh, no, honey. Come on down.' ''

Mattingly took the job. It required her to go into a private room with a man who would watch her undress.

``The day before I started I was sick to my stomach,'' she said. ``The first customer I had, I was shaking, I was so nervous.''

She developed a routine in which she would rub lotion all over her body while swaying from side to side.

``I don't talk to the customers about anything, sex-wise,'' she said. ``They want to see a naked girl -- well, here's a naked girl. I focused on the mirrors the whole time. I don't even look at the customers.''

The one-way mirror allowed the manager and the other models to keep an eye on things in the private room.

Often, the men would undress themselves. Occasionally, men would proposition her, she said. Her response: ``I'm sorry, I don't do that.''

Though the studio charged $50 for 30 minutes, Mattingly worked only on tips. They varied from $20 to $60, and went as high as $100.

She worked five or six days a week, often having only one or two customers a day. Then, on the night of May 31, one of the girls had a party. Mattingly wasn't invited.

She was the only model working, so she was busy. She saw six or seven customers that night.

Mattingly said she can't remember all of them specifically, but the last two both got naked. She thinks one of those two was the undercover officer.

According to police, she offered to perform two specific sex acts for $100.

Mattingly denies it.

Her lawyer calls it a classic ``he said, she said.''

``It's her versus the police, and the jury usually goes with the police officer,'' he said.

The trial is scheduled for July 26. If convicted, she could get up to 60 days in jail.

Her lawyer, Ed Weber, said police are trying to get her to testify against the owners of the studio. But Mattingly has insisted that she knew of no prostitution going on at the studio, even if she was curious about how one model earned a $250 tip.

She maintains that the owner, Johanna Finke -- a model herself who goes by the name ``Ashley'' -- specifically told her not to engage in physical contact with the customers.

Weber said his client has offered to take a lie detector test.

In the meantime, a lawyer for Studio X says the business plans to close its doors voluntarily in order to find ``a more appropriate location.'' The city has been trying to close down the studio, saying it is a sexually oriented business in violation of Akron's zoning laws.

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