LEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless says that he plans to reinstate the charges against the Lee couple accused of running a prostitution business out of their inn.
According to the Berkshire Eagle, the Lee Police applied for a criminal complaint back in January 2012--after a month-long investigation.
This complaint charged Tara Viola and Thomas Fusco with "...soliciting sexual favors for a fee, keeping a house of ill fame, and conspiring to promote prostitution". The couple owns The Inn at Laurel Lake, which is located off of Route 20 near the Lee/Lenox town line.
Capeless told the Eagle that the Lee Police had asked the Berkshire County Drug Task Force to help them in the investigation. He also explained how one of the officers went in undercover at the inn at one point.
Viola and Fusco's attorney says her clients are victims who have fully cooperated with the DA's office.
Meanwhile, Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis is facing extortion and money laundering charges. A federal grand jury returned an indictment Thursday against him, alleging that he received a $4,000 donation from Viola and Fusco. This money was reportedly made to the Edward J. Laliberte Toy Fund--which Buffis controlled. But investigators allege that Buffis quickly withdrew nearly all of the money, and put it in a personal account of his, before using it on personal expenses.
The FBI is now asking for the public's help in the case against Chief Buffis. If you or someone you know has donated cash or toys to the Edward J. Laliberte Toy Fund, or if you have applied to the fund, please call the Springfield FBI Office at: (413) 732-0159.
22News will continue to follow the latest developments on these stories.