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Prostitution arrests not a shock to all

LAWRENCEVILLE - The alleged acts of high-end prostitution foiled in two upscale Gwinnett neighborhoods Wednesday came as no surprise to many Gwinnettians.

Many were already aware of something suspicious, even before Lisa Ann Taylor, 42, and Nicole A. Probert, 30, were arrested Wednesday. The two are charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, prostitution, keeping a place of prostitution and conspiracy to possess cocaine.

Taylor and Probert made their $27,900 bond on Thursday.

A woman who identified herself as Taylor hung up after a reporter identified himself to her on the phone Thursday night.

Taylor, a former Penthouse Pet, was arrested at her home in the Sugarloaf Country Club in Duluth, and Probert at her home in Lawrenceville's Edgewater subdivision.

Bill Russell, who lives in the gated Sugarloaf subdivision and owns a local landscaping business, said he had been aware of activities in Taylor's million-dollar-plus home for quite some time.

"I think (from) hearing the rumors previously, I suspected this would come to the end result that's occurred," Russell said. "I'm glad to hear that progress has been made as far as shutting an operation like that down, because it would blemish the reputation of a good neighborhood."

A number of other Sugarloaf Country Club residents declined to comment about the arrest.

Butch Poss, past president of the Edgewater Homeowner's Association, said he was made aware of some type of alleged illegal activity at Probert's residence by a neighbor.

In fact, Gwinnett police were notified of suspicious activity, and the residence was watched for years leading to Probert's arrest.

"We have a very cohesive neighborhood where a lot of people know each other," Poss said. "I'm glad to see things like that do get taken care of and don't continue to go on in our neighborhood or the Sugarloaf neighborhood."

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said Wednesday that numerous complaints were made by neighbors about things that were seen at Taylor's home, including wild Halloween parties and women walking by windows while scantily clad.

Further action in other jurisdictions

The investigation began as the result of information provided by the Gwinnett Daily Post after the discovery of a Web site called The Erotic Review, where alleged call girls advertise and their customers, or "hobbyists," review the quality of services rendered. The national Web site can be searched in several fashions, including by area code and has links to girls' personal Web sites, including that of Taylor, who Porter says moonlights as Melissa Wolf.

As of Thursday, there has been quite a lot of activity regarding Wednesday's arrests on the TER message board.

But whether the Gwinnett arrests related to the Web site will start a trend is left to be seen.

"I think there's the potential for that, but I would not expect that," Porter said. "I wouldn't expect to see people piling up to do this."

Porter said it is a question of whether other agencies have the resources to investigate and execute search and arrest warrants.

But given how easy it is to obtain information from the site, it would not be a difficult thing to do, he said.

Adora Andy, public information officer for the DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, said any evidence of felony prostitution obtained will result in an investigation, but most prostitution cases are misdemeanors and are handled by the solicitor general.

Information from the DA's office in Fulton County was not available by press time.

Special Agent Stephen Emmett, spokesman for the FBI office in Atlanta, said Thursday that the FBI in Atlanta is not conducting an investigation into the Web site.

An investigation of Taylor and Probert, both local real estate agents, was conducted by Porter's office and Gwinnett County police for more than a month before the duo's arrest. Porter said Wednesday he expects additional charges to be filed against Probert and Taylor and arrests to follow of additional call girls and customers. As of press time, no additional charges had been filed.