April 05, 2020
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Former brothel operator appeals five-year sentence

KITTERY – A former lawyer and one-time chairman of the Kittery Town Council is appealing his conviction and five-year sentence for operating a brothel and conspiring to launder millions of dollars in profits.

Gary Reiner filed a 66-page appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston last week on claims of a tainted jury, “toxic” testimony and disparate sentencing compared to his co-defendants.

Reiner was convicted in September 2005 in U.S. District Court in Portland for his role in running the Danish Health Club, a brothel that fronted as a legitimate health club and massage parlor in Kittery. Reiner is serving his sentence at a federal prison in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In his appeal, Reiner claims that the FBI presented erroneous information to obtain a search warrant for a 2004 raid on the club.

In getting the search warrant, the FBI cited local police reports portraying a history of prostitution at the club but failed to note that police concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to move forward with charges, according to the appeal.

Reiner’s appeal also argues that one juror who found him guilty was prejudiced about the nature of the crimes, an objection raised before his trial and dismissed by Justice D. Brock Hornby.

The jury was also tainted because of testimony from a pimp who said a minor worked as a prostitute at the club, even though Reiner wasn’t tried or convicted on any charges related to a minor, the appeal says.

During the trial, Hornby instructed the jury to disregard that testimony, but the instruction was insufficient because “the subject matter of the testimony was toxic and an improper emotional response from the jury was unavoidable,” Reiner says in his appeal.


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