5/6/2015 – OKC, OK — The proprietors of an alleged high end brothel located across the street from million dollar homes in the gated Rose Creek addition have been criminally charged in Oklahoma County. Additionally, the names of other individuals found inside the alleged brothel at the time of the police sting have been released.
JohnTV was the first to break the news of the undercover bust that dismantled Claire’s Red Door massage back in March.
At the time of the initial arrests, JohnTV didn’t realize this location was the infamous metro brothel known in whispered voices as “The Red Door.” However, that fact very quickly became apparent after several underground forums dedicated to promoting prostitution began referencing JohnTV’s and other local media coverage.
According to court documents, on February 25 at around 5 p.m., undercover Oklahoma City Vice officers made an appointment for a massage at the business, located at 17334 N. May Ave., Suite B., after being tipped off that organized prostitution might be occurring there.
Court records note that the establishment, while in a brand new upscale business park, had no signage of any kind identifying what type of business was being conducted there — just a plain red door (see photo below)…
The undercover officer alleged that after knocking on the business’s locked door, he was greeted by the proprietor, a woman later identified as 47-year-old Penny Melton (aka, Penny Ann Rutter, Penny Ann Bates).
The undercover officer was taken into a room inside the business where he met 22-year-old Skyler Carol Henderson.
According to a probable cause affidavit, while massaging the undercover officer, Henderson solicited him with an offer of oral sex in exchange for $200.
At that time, Henderson and Melton were placed under arrest.
Henderson was booked into jail on a complaint of offering to engage in an act of prostitution. Melton was booked into jail on a complaint of maintaining a house of prostitution.
Henderson was released after posting a $500 bond. Melton was released after posting a $2,000 bond.
Just yesterday, three months after the sting, both Henderson and Melton were officially criminally charged in Oklahoma County as a result of the February raid.
Henderson was charged with “offering to engage in an act of prostitution.” Melton was charged with maintaining a house of prostitution. Both charges are considered misdemeanor crimes.
Additionally, Melton was also criminally charged in a separate case with another count of maintaining a house of prostitution with an “offense date” of April 15 (maybe she was offering some income tax deadline ‘relief’). JohnTV will provide additional details on Melton’s April offense in a separate article.
Melton’s charges list her current home address as 609 SE 6th in Midwest City. A quick internet search of Google Maps and the Oklahoma County Assessors website indicate that is not a valid address. Previous confirmed addresses for Melton include; $400,000 home in the 5300 block of NW 124th in Oklahoma City, a $500,000 residence in Arcadia and a $260,000 home in Cleveland County. All three homes were eventually foreclosed on by banks.
Henderson lists her address in the 2100 block of SW 67th St. in Oklahoma City.
As JohnTV originally reported, Melton previously ran a retail kiosk at Quail Springs Mall in NW OKC.
Not known to JohnTV in our original coverage of the Red Door bust was the identities of any other individuals that may have been inside the business when Henderson and Melton were arrested.
According to police records; 21-year-old Carmela Escobar, 23-year-old Monica Escobar, 31-year-old Christie Lee Mitchell, 52-year-old Trejo Maximino, and 47-year-old Jason Ross Oldham were all inside the business at the time of the arrests. Except for Carmela, all are listed as “involved persons” in the official police report. *No criminal allegations/charges have been made against those individuals who were not placed under arrest. They were simply inside a well-known brothel!
Carmela Escobar was arrested for performing commercial massage without a license and released at the scene. Carmela listed a home address as an apartment in Oklahoma City and her employer as Red Door Massage. Monica Escobar also listed her address as an apartment in Oklahoma City and her employer as Red Door Massage. Mitchell listed her address in Oklahoma City and her profession as a graphic designer. Maximino listed his address in Edmond and his profession as “custom homes/pools.” Oldham listed his address in Edmond and his employer as NCS Health Care.
No court or police documents located by JohnTV indicate that any form of forced prostitution or human trafficking was taking place.
Claire’s Red Door was promoted primarily through word-of-mouth, Twitter (@melanie27837113 and @ladyawaitsyou) and postings to Internet sites like Backpage.com and a popular forum dedicated to promoting prostitution.
It was most likely the Red Door’s frequent Internet posts that put them on law enforcement’s radar.
Below is one of the Red Door’s Backpage.com advertisements (click for larger version)…
Below is a post to a pro-prostitution forum just two days before police raided the establishment (click for larger version)…
This post was posted just hours before the owner’s arrest (click for larger version)…
Here is an example of the tweets sent out (see bottom of this article for more examples)…
‘Claire’ (aka Penny Melton), had a habit of identifying herself in postings as a “licensed and trained nurse.”
A quick search of the Oklahoma Board of Nursing does indeed reveal a Penny Ann Bates (Melton’s former name) was a LPN back in 1997. Melton/Bates’ license currently shows a status of “Lapsed.”
Claire’s Red Door is a perfect example of not only a well organized and very public criminal prostitution organization, but also the boldness exhibited by such organizations when the pimps know good and well the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office takes a hug-a-thug mentality when it comes to organized prostitution.
Recent head shakingly light sentences for Edmond pimps (*update link needed) have only emboldened criminals who know if arrested are only facing probation and small fines.
Just last month, University of Central Oklahoma senior Ali Hussain Al-Yousuf pleaded guilty (*update link needed) to maintaining a house of prostitution AND aiding and abetting prostitution. Al-Yousuf only made a single court appearance before Oklahoma County DA David Prater’s office agreed to give this Edmond pimp a sweetheart deal of probation, no conviction, an expungeable record and a $500 fine. DA Prater considers that ‘justice’ for a man who was selling his young girlfriend while their 7-month old baby and his girlfriend’s teen sister were in their apartment while ‘Johns’ came and went.
In 2014 Joshua Ray Hudson admitted to the human sex trafficking of a very pregnant 16-year-old (*update link needed) girl out of an Edmond motel. DA Prater’s office agreed to allow Hudson to withdraw his guilty plea to human trafficking and instead plead guilty to computer crimes and given probation only and an expungeable record.
Given DA Prater’s apparent soft spot for pimps and human sex traffickers, Melton and Henderson will most likely face nothing more than one to five years probation, an expungeable record and small fines.
JohnTV will continue to follow this case.
This forum thread contains postings from Claire’s Red Door just hours before they were busted by police (click for larger version)…
The following is the Red Door’s Twitter feed. You’ll notice the last tweet was the day before the police raid…