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June 16, 2000 03:07am
`Modeling studio' in Akron to close
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
by: Gregory Korte

(AKRON, OH) -- The owner of a ``nude modeling studio'' on Tallmadge Avenue is packing it in - for now.

Studio X will close its doors and look for a location ``in a more proper place'' said Canton attorney Steven Lo Dico. ``We have chosen to do this not because we are in violation of zoning codes, and not because a model was arrested for prostitution, but because of the public opinion we've received,'' he said. ``I hope when we start fresh, we have a legitimate opportunity to have a go at it.''

Studio X has been open just more than a month in a strip center off Tallmadge Avenue. It almost immediately came under fire from City Councilman Don Mittiga and city zoning inspectors, who said it violated the city's sexually oriented business ordinance. Then the landlord canceled the lease.

And on June 1, an undercover vice officer said he was propositioned for sex by one of the models, who has been charged with prostitution.

The business is owned by Johanna Finke, who also models at the studio under the stage name ``Ashley.''

Helping to manage the business, however, is a 40-year-old Toledo man who pleaded guilty last year to a charge of procuring prostitution.

William R. McDonough Jr. ran Studio 4, a lingerie shop in Perry Township where models provided customers with sex for prices ranging from $37.50 to $230.

Perry police went undercover to bust Studio 4 on information from a private investigator in a divorce case. The investigator -- hired by a Canal Fulton man whose wife was working there -- said he was told he could touch or kiss the lingerie model anywhere but between her legs.

Two models at Studio 4 were charged with prostitution.

McDonough had owned another business -- also called Studio 4 -- on Brittain Road in Akron before he moved to Stark County. His landlord there, Frank Gironda, said he evicted McDonough after questions from city zoning inspectors.

And when Studio X opened last month, it was McDonough who paid for an advertisement for Studio X in the Akron Beacon Journal, identifying himself as the manager.

But attorney Lo Dico -- who also helped get McDonough out of jail after just four months of his six-month sentence -- insisted that Finke, and not McDonough, is running things at Studio X.

``His only relationship with that business would have been advisory,'' he said. ``This business is something totally different than what Bill McDonough did.''

Neither McDonough nor Finke returned phone calls seeking comment.

Lo Dico said Finke did not have a specific location in mind for the new studio, but said it was likely to remain in Akron.

``There's no law against nude modeling studios in Akron,'' he said. ``As long as they're not doing anything wrong, that facility can go anywhere in the city of Akron, including next to a church or next to a school.''

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