Massage therapist's legitimacy challenged Police, neighbors speak at hearing on home office

December 08, 1998|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

Dressed in a beige blouse buttoned to her throat and a long brown skirt, Deborah Anne Yazdoni appeared before a Baltimore County zoning commissioner yesterday seeking permission to operate a therapeutic massage office in her Park Heights Avenue home.

She explained that she wants to see only a few clients a week and her lawyer presented copies of her diplomas and certificates.

A Baltimore County vice squad detective had some evidence of his own: Yazdoni's business card that showed her wearing a string bikini and a snapshot taken as she was caught, wearing only panties and a bra, giving an undercover police officer a massage.

"Is that you?" asked her lawyer, I. William Chase, as he looked at the wallet-size photo.

Yazdoni nodded, and zoning Commissioner Timothy M. Kotroco blushed as he took the evidence.

"In your method of massage, do you normally just wear a bra and panties?" Kotroco asked.

"Not usually," she said.

Yazdoni, who owns the property in the 10900 block of Park Heights Ave. with her fiance, Robert J. Gaudet, said she sees about 10 clients a week, no more than five in her home.

In deciding whether to grant her a special exception to operate from her home, Kotroco must determine whether Yazdoni is a professional, as are doctors and dentists who practice from home.

In August, vice detectives went to the home after becoming suspicious of an advertisement for a massage they saw in a local paper. There, another woman told an officer to take off his clothes, then she stripped to her underwear and began the massage.

That woman was arrested and is awaiting trial next month.

Yazdoni testified yesterday that the woman was house-sitting while she was away and that she knew nothing about the incident.

About two dozen neighbors who attended the hearing had made up their minds about whether Yazdoni should receive the special exception.

"I worry about the integrity of the neighborhood," said Martin Rothberg, Yazdoni's neighbor.

Dr. Bonnie Miller, a veterinarian, said she is disturbed by cars that park at the home and by people going in and out of the driveway in the middle of the night.

Yazdoni disputed the claims. "I go to bed before 11," she said. "I am asleep early."

Pub Date: 12/08/98

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