Judge asked if accused madam can contact any of 9K clients to cancel ‘birthday spankings,’ other ‘appointments’
“This business is booked until February,” said a lawyer for Jessica Nesbitt, AKA “Madame Priscilla Belle. They argue it’s a legal fetish business that doesn’t involve prostitution.
The judge peered down at the woman in the charcoal skirt suit, her bleached blonde hair pinned up in a neat swirl, and said he genuinely appreciated her predicament.
“I get the idea of wanting to professionally cancel your appointments, rather than leaving a note on the door,” U.S. District Court Judge Robert Dow Jr. told Jessica Nesbitt Friday morning as she stood in his court.
By “appointments,” Dow meant encounters that have included “birthday spankings,” erotica stories, “taboo exploration & feminization” in venues ranging from the “Sissy Room” to a “private 5 floor Dungeon” — all with free parking and within 10 minutes of downtown.
Or, as federal prosecutors allege, illegal prostitution run by Nesbitt — AKA “Madame Priscilla Belle.”
But like any businesswoman, Nesbitt has responsibilities. On Friday, her attorney, Barry Sheppard, argued that his client urgently needs to contact her 9,000 clients, something she’s been barred from doing since she was indicted on federal prostitution charges last month.
“This business is booked until February,” said Sheppard, as Nesbitt stood demurely at his side, letting him do all the talking. Nesbitt and her attorney say hers is a legal fetish business that doesn’t involve prostitution.
Sheppard asked permission for his client to send out a mass emailing, letting clients know that the business, known as Kink Extraordinaires is closed until further notice.
But prosecutors objected, pointing out that Nesbitt should be allowed no contact with clients, “the vast majority” of whom were involved in illegal prostitution.
“It’s clear Ms. Nesbitt wants to get close to the line, if not over the line [into illegal activity],” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Erika Csicsila.
The feds say Nesbitt ran the business described as “the premier Dungeon of Chicago” on the city’s West Side. They say Nesbitt and her employees at Kink Extraordinaires collected millions of dollars not just from clients in Illinois, but in California, Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.
But Dow likened Nesbitt’s business to an auto body shop where there’s also drug dealing — a business where the activities are both legal and illegal.
Dow didn’t rule one way or the other, saying he wasn’t overly familiar with the facts of the case and needed to read the 23-page indictment.
“Somehow, I’m going to make it so that not all 9,000 people are off limits,” he said.