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Doll House owner Santiago Steven Maese conviction, sentence upheld

SHARE Doll House owner Santiago Steven Maese conviction, sentence upheld

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of former Doll House owner Santiago Steven Maese — once coined a "pimp" by prosecutors — ruling that he will serve the sentence given him.

Maese, 33, was sentenced by 3rd District Judge Randall Skanchy in January 2009 to a term of one to 15 years in prison for one count of a pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony, and four terms of zero to five years in prison for separate counts of exploiting a prostitute, a third-degree felony. Skanchy suspended the prison time, instead ordering Maese to spend the 60 days in a local jail. He also sentenced the man to three years probation.

Thursday's decision, written by Judge William Thorne Jr., states that Maese's appeal was based on his belief that there were flaws in the jury instruction, the trial court failed to rule on a motion prior to trial and that the sentence should have been halted due to Maese's belief there was insufficient evidence.

But Thorne states that Maese affirmed he was ready to proceed at the start of the trial, nullifying his concerns about the unresolved motion, and that Maese approved the jury instructions before they were given. Thorne also found that Maese failed to prove his claim of insufficient evidence.

Maese was convicted by a jury in July 2008 amid allegations that he was running a prostitution ring in the guise of a legitimate business, though he adamantly denied in trial that he ever told workers at the escort service to engage in any sexual activity for money.

— Emiley Morgan