‘Brothel’ operator sentenced to 1 year

Tribune Chronicle / Renee Fox Daniel Blasco, 64, left, is accompanied by his attorney, Jeff Goodman, as he is sentenced Wednesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to one year in prison on a charge of abduction.

WARREN — An attorney for a man accused by city officials of running a “brothel” where women were paid with drugs in exchange for sex work asked a judge for probation Wednesday, claiming a woman held in the “stripper pole” house against her will was more of a girlfriend and his physical deformities have made his life hard.

But Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge W. Wyatt McKay said Daniel Blasco showed no sign of remorse and is likely to continue to commit crimes, and sentenced him to a year in prison. He will be on probation for three years after he is released.

Blasco, 64, was indicted in January 2018 on a charge of promoting prostitution after his home was raided in September 2017. A woman claimed she was being held against her will and forced into prostitution, according to a police report.

Blasco pleaded guilty to abduction in November and the charge of promoting prostitution was dropped.

During sentencing Wednesday, Warren defense attorney Jeff Goodman with Fowler, Goodman & O’Brien said the circumstances that led to the charges against Blasco are not likely to be recreated, especially because the victim — who did not appear in court — now lives out of state. Goodman said Blasco and the woman had an “on again, off again” relationship and that she would stay with him for a while, leave and then “voluntarily” come back, but Goodman said Blasco admitted that at “some point” a line was crossed.

There was “fault all around,” in the case, Goodman said.

Even though a presentence investigation found Blasco has a high chance of recidivism, Goodman said he disagreed and said Blasco only had misdemeanor convictions in the past. Goodman said Blasco, a General Motors retiree, has not had “an easy” life, because physical deformities — a birth defect affecting his hands — have caused him pain, mental anguish and made it so he doesn’t always “fit into mainstream society.”

Neighbors complained numerous times about the type of traffic coming in and out of the 765 Kenilworth Ave. SE house at all hours of the night, and police investigated for several months before Blasco was arrested on the charge.

A woman told police Blasco posted advertisements for her on backpage.com and gave her a phone for “customers” to call her on, a police report states.

The men who called her met her at 765 Kenilworth Ave. SE and gave her money that she handed over to him, the report states.

After having sex with the customers, Blasco would take her to “drug houses to buy heroin,” the report states.

Warren officials condemned the house and boarded it up as a nuisance property. Blasco still owns it, according to county auditor records.

Blasco was free on a $100,000 bond, but he was handcuffed in the courtroom Wednesday and then booked into the Trumbull County Jail.