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Accused madam pleads not guilty

LAWRENCEVILLE - Two Gwinnett women accused of involvement in a high-end prostitution ring were no-shows at their arraignment hearings before a Gwinnett County superior judge Monday.

Lisa Ann Taylor of Duluth chose not to attend the 9 a.m. hearing - a hearing in which the defendant's presence is not required - but entered a not guilty plea to racketeering, drug and prostitution charges.

Taylor's alleged partner, Nicole Probert of Lawrenceville, was also absent and has not yet entered her official plea, although her attorney, Steve Sadow, said she plans to plead not guilty. Probert is due back in court Aug. 16 to make her plea official, according to Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter.

The duo's arraignment was the result of a June 13 indictment by a Gwinnett County grand jury after evidence surrounding Taylor, 43, and Probert's, 30, alleged sex business.

The women's entanglement with the law began Jan. 3 when the two were arrested after an investigation into "The Erotic Review" Web site - a site that included reviews, discussion boards and price listings for sex.

Both were set free on bond after a stint at the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, prostitution, keeping a place of prostitution and conspiracy to possess cocaine.

Five men were also jailed and indicted in connection with the alleged sex ring and drug involvement.

Mecoa Naketia Allen of Locust Grove, who faces drug-related charges, and Daniel Luigi Marfione of Atlanta, who allegedly sought sex from Probert in exchange for money pleaded not guilty.

Three other men believed to be connected to the allegations also entered their pleas, although the men were not present in the courtroom. Marc Alfred Garzon of Roswell pleaded not guilty to drug-related charges, and Alexander William Rider of Kennesaw and Kerry Kruzel of Cumming pleaded not guilty to pandering charges.

The judge set a November date for Taylor, Probert and the men to file motions is in the case.

Mark Issa, Taylor's attorney, and Probert's attorney stand by their clients' innocence, and both said they will file motions within the next 10 days.

"We'll be filing motions that potentially could suppress evidence," Issa said.

Issa said he'd rather not comment on the particulars of the documents he and Taylor plan to file but hinted that he plans to inform the court of what he believes was illegal wire tapping by local authorities in the course of the investigation into the allegations against Taylor.

Sadow said he also plans to file similar motions within the next few weeks.

"It's our intent to file a motion to suppress the wire taps," Sadow said.

Porter said Taylor, Probert and the four men are due back in court within upcoming months.

"Next will be the motions hearing in November and eventually a trial in February," said Porter.