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The Nose

Happy Endings

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Cops sometimes bring to light conduct the Nose would rather not think about—and after a long absence, we’re now returning to contemplate, well, sex acts. Republican Anne Arundel County executive John Leopold’s catheter bag, for instance. OK, so there’s reason to believe the pol, who’s on trial for misconduct in office, improperly used county resources for private or political purposes. But having the cops drain and reattach his catheter bag? We just really didn’t want to think about that just now. Fortunately, the sexcapades Leopold’s accused of, involving trysts in parked cars, suggest some Bill Clinton moments here and there in Leopold’s life, but the lack of details about what actually happened in those cars thankfully means we don’t have to swat away the thanks-but-no-thanks visuals conjured by, say, Kenneth Starr’s 445-page report to Congress on Clinton’s problematic sex life.

Take, for example, some poor galoot named “James.” He’s just some guy who, tickled by urges aroused by a City Paper ad, went to York Spa in Timonium last year, got a massage, hit the Dunkin’ Donuts nearby, and then jumped in a Jimmy’s cab to leave. It was James’ first time at York Spa, but some cops who’d watched him come and go had suspicions about the place, that maybe it was providing more than what the licensed professionals in the massage industry are trained to give. So they pulled James over in the cab and talked to him.

What James ’fessed up to—that he’d gotten a handjob as part of his massage and had only lasted “a couple minutes” before his masseuse “took a hot towel and wiped the ejaculated sperm off of” him—would’ve been a nice, quiet secret between him and his so-called masseuse that day, who used the name “Lily.” But, thanks to the cops, who filed extensive court papers detailing the York Spa probe, now the rest of us have to think about poor James’ premature tendencies. Worse, we have to think about that hot towel.

As the cops built their case against York Spa over the next several months, two other guys who they stopped told essentially the same story of getting “happy endings” there. Come August, a raid was staged on York Spa, resulting in the arrest of a woman from Flushing, N.Y., and the seizure of a bit more than $15,000 in cash. York Spa closed down, James and his ilk presumably have moved on to less stressful venues for finding that kind of release, and City Paper no longer runs York Spa ads—though, like other publications in town, it still runs “nonsexual” massage ads.

It would seem that James (whose full name was not disclosed in court filings) and the other two men interviewed by the police in the York Spa investigation were spared criminal charges. But the woman was not so lucky: She was arrested as a result of the raid. She faces two prostitution counts and one count of practicing massage therapy without a license. If her trial goes on as scheduled, in March, the evidence—much like that in the Leopold case or that contained in the Starr Report—will likely include details the Nose would rather not think about. But such is the nature of police work—the conduct has to be publicly described, so as to be transparently judged. If no one else, at least licensed massage therapists can rest easy that this justice is being done.

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