Archived Story

Sentencing date set

Published 12:33pm Monday, July 13, 2009

By NORMA LERNER
Niles Daily Star

CASSOPOLIS – Two strip club dancers pleaded in Cass County Circuit Court Friday morning on prostitution-related and drug charges following their arrests in April at an Edwardsburg adult entertainment club.
Melissa Ann Goodman, 23, will be sentenced, Friday, Aug. 7, in Circuit Court on five sex-related convictions that she pleaded guilty to and one that she pleaded no contest.
Goodman admitted she did not inform her male partners at the club that she was HIV-positive. She cried as she sat at the bench before Judge Michael Dodge and pleaded guilty to charges as follows: 1.) conspiracy to deliver or manufacture methamphetamine or ecstasy; 2.) delivery or manufacturing of methamphetamine or ecstasy; 3.) conspiracy to deliver or manufacture cocaine less than 50 grams; 4.) delivery or manufacturing cocaine less than 50 grams; and 5.) lewd and lascivious conduct.
She pleaded no contest to one count of engaging in an act of sexual penetration while failing to inform her partner she was HIV-positive.
Prosecutor Victor Fitz said the incidents took place between Feb. 11 and April 22.
Fitz said the plea agreement was that if Goodman pleaded guilty to the four counts and the one no-contest plea, other charges would be dismissed, and she will receive an eight-month cap.
Testifying was Dowagiac Police Det. David Toxopeus, who told about undercover police who went to the bar and hired lap dances with the girls in exchange for money.
Toxopeus also testified in the case of Lauren Marie Coombs, 19, who pleaded no contest to charges of lewd and lascivious conduct and being disorderly on April 11, 2009.
Judge Dodge said District Judge Stacey Rentfrow ordered HIV testing, but this was not done. He said this needs to be reported to the health department. She is to be sentenced in District Court.
The club, Escape Reality, is located at 68502 Dailey Road.
It is temporarily shut down by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission after a raid by police in April when six persons were arrested, and a seventh person turned herself in.
The raid followed an investigation by police prompted by neighbors’ complaints.

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