MADISON, Wis. - Prosecutors have charged the owners of a downtown Madison massage parlor with running a brothel.
Rising Sun massage parlor owners Charles Prindiville, 64, of Middleton, and his ex-wife, Catherine Prindiville, 56, were charged Monday with conspiring to keep a place of prostitution. The Rising Sun's accountant, Donald Goodweiler, 69, faces the same charge.
According to the criminal complaint, seven women who said they had worked at Rising Sun performing sex acts described as touching, fondling and intercourse, and that at some point they were told that if they didn't have sex with clients, they'd be fired.
Some of the women said they were recorded at an attorney's office saying they wouldn't do anything illegal while working at Rising Sun, but were instructed otherwise when they started taking shifts. Witnesses also said Charles Prindiville taught them how to spot police officers to not get caught prostituting.
One woman said she worked at Rising Sun, often also referred to in the criminal complaint as Butterfly Hot Tub & Sauna, for only one and a half days before being fired because she wouldn't have sex.
"The owner covered his butt by us going on camera knowing (that's) what we were doing and if we didn't we couldn't work there," the woman told police, according to the complaint.
Police have been investigating the Rising Sun since October 2010. Charles Prindiville's attorney, Charles Giesen, said he'll ask that the charges be dismissed due to prosecutorial delay, noting the earliest crime alleged in the complaint occurred in 2003.
"Some evidence that would've been available, had they acted promptly in bringing charges, is no longer available," Giesen said. "And again, the witnesses memories fade so it's difficult to bring a case to court or defend cases that are this old."
Catherine Prindiville denied to police knowing the business was operating as a prostitution den and said she didn't know she was listed with the state as the sole owner and president of the business, according to the complaint. She said she was recently made aware that Charles has a stamp with her signature on it and it is used on payroll checks.
According to the complaint, one of the women who said she'd worked for Rising Sun said Goodweiler had been her client for about two years and he paid her for sex. The complaint said she told police Charles instructed her "that when he (Goodweiler) came in it was a special one on one session and to take however long it took."
The Dane County Jail did not have booking photos for Catherine Prindiville or Donald Goodweiler Wednesday morning.
Charles Prindiville was in court Wednesday for an initial appearance and was released on signature bond. Giesen said Charles Prindiville hadn't owned Rising Sun since 2010.
District Attorney Ismael Ozanne couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
Online court records show Charles and Catherine jointly filed for divorce in 2013.
Goodweiler told the State Journal he wasn't aware of the charges. No contact information could be found for Catherine Prindiville.
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