20 Aug 2014
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Burgess Enters Not Guilty Plea to Prostitution

Burgess Enters Not Guilty Plea to Prostitution
The woman at the center of an alleged prostitution investigation at the former Blissful Oak on Main Street pleaded not guilty in court on Friday.

Tiffany Burgess was ordered held without bail as a probation violator after entering her plea in Kent County District Court.

Her case was continued for a future hearing. She is facing charges of prostitution and obstruction of justice.

East Greenwich Police launched their investigation into alleged prostitution at The Blissful Oak in early March after four people called police anonymously to report that several workers were exchanging sex for cash.

One caller, according to a police report, said his girlfriend went to apply for a job there and was told she could make much more money if she offered sex in exchange for cash. The others said the same thing: after a massage, oral sex for $50 was offered.

Detectives got a peek inside the business on March 20 after investigating a followup report at an attempted breaking and entering at a nearby business. Police encountered a woman walking out the door, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary -- there was a a small desk, computer and three rooms off the lobby. Detectives noted that there was no sign outside the building for The Blissful Oak and just a small sign inside the entry area of the building by the stairwell.

Detectives soon found advertisements for the business on BackPage.com under "body rubs," complete with pictures of several women and an all-capitalized note that appointments are required and walk ins are not accepted. They also found postings for the massage parlor on craigslist under "therapeutic services" and detectives recognized a woman identified in the postings as "Molly" as the woman they saw walking out of the business on March 20.

Over the next several weeks, detectives conducted surveillance of the business and they gradually identified all the women working there along with their cars and where they were parking. 

"Numerous men" were seen walking in and out of the building during 60- to 70-minute visits, "a majority of these men arrived in MA registered vehicles," the report states.

None of them walked out carrying any bags or items from any of the other businesses inside the building, police said.

On April 16, two detectives from a nearby police department made appointments for massages and one masseuse, identified as Tiffany Marie Burgess, 33, of 31 Clymn St., Providence, reportedly offered the detective a sexual favor in exchange for $60. 

The other detective was not propositioned, police said, and both detectives left the scene.

Police then descended upon the business and officers arrived to find a locked door and noises from within. Moments later, East Greenwich dispatchers got a 911 call from a female in distress behind The Grille on Main. It was Burgess, who reportedly jumped from the third floor of the building and injured her leg.

The other female, who was not charged, reportedly went through the window, climbed onto the roof of the restaurant, then ran across, jumped onto the roof of Wood Jewelers and then climbed down a fire ladder to get to her car parked nearby.

Police said she then drove away on Marlborough Street but turned around and re-entered the lot behind the building "right up to the awaiting officers" because, she told police, she wanted her cell phone which was stuffed in Burgess' bra.

Burgess reportedly gave police several false names and dates of birth before she was transported to the hospital for her injuries. 

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