Bail set at $100,000 for Elkhorn man accused of paying prostitutes to strip on neighbor's porch
A judge set bail Friday for an Elkhorn man accused of hiring prostitutes to bare their breasts and strip on his neighbor’s porch while he watched from his house across the street.
Douglas Goldsberry, 45, remained in jail Friday. He would have to pay 10 percent of $100,000 bail to be released.
He waived his preliminary hearing on one count of felony pandering.
Goldsberry’s attorney, Nathan Lab, said his client is a lifelong Omahan who has been a chef in town for about 10 years. When his wife filed for divorce on Wednesday, she stated in a court document that Goldsberry has had a number of jobs as an executive chef in the Omaha area.
Goldsberry was arrested Wednesday by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies. Prosecutor Eric Fabian said Goldsberry had fled from his house and was found at an Omaha hotel with a suicide note and a power cord tied into a noose. Goldsberry’s wife said in the divorce filing that she had not heard from him since May 3.
Authorities said that since May 2013, Goldsberry had paid women to strip at his neighbor’s house near 185th and Indiana Streets. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said he told a deputy that he masturbated from inside his home while watching the stripteases.
The visits from the strippers occurred at least 75 times.
The neighbors, a couple in their 30s with sons ages 3 and 1, said the stripper visits began about a month after they moved into their house.
Sometimes they were alerted to the visitors by a kick on their door or their doorbell ringing. Sometimes pimps peered into their windows. Sometimes the women became upset because they expected someone at the house to pay them.
Fabian also noted that some of the young women who showed up at the house may have been 16 or younger.
The family that lives across the street from Goldsberry’s house has sought a protection order against him.
In asking for a lower bail amount, Lab said his client has proven that he is a “productive member of society.” He called the case “an anomaly.”
“These allegations are still allegations,” Lab said. “Let’s focus on posting bail right now and getting him back to court.”
Fabian said Goldsberry was involved in a soliciting case in 1993. He said the investigation into the current case continues.
“He’s a risk to himself and to society,” Fabian said.
Douglas County District Court Judge Derek Vaughn rejected Lab’s request for lower bail and ordered Goldsberry to have no contact with his neighbors.
Though the incidents were reported only recently, it is believed they had been going on for three or four years, said Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning.
“A lot of these instances, I think the family was gone,” he said.
At first the stripping happened only once a month or so, and deputies were going off of seemingly random reports.
“When it got more and more and more, they got law enforcement more heavily involved,” said Lt. Will Rinn of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The neighbor’s wife called authorities in March, when strippers appeared at the house eight days that month. Deputies conducted surveillance on two nights in late March. On one of the nights they watched as two women exposed their breasts.
Deputies interviewed the women, learning that they were hired through backpage.com, a classified advertising website that features ads for escorts.
The Sheriff’s Office retrieved information from the women’s phone that led to Goldsberry. They also obtained photos of text messages they said were sent between the women and Goldsberry.
“What we found out was, basically, this guy hasn’t been paying these prostitutes either,” Dunning said.
The case is still under investigation, Rinn said.
Residents at the house the women visited are not suspected of any wrongdoing. A sign on the front door Friday afternoon said they had no comment.
The Sheriff’s Office also said Goldsberry met with escorts in hotel rooms for sex.
If convicted, Lab said, Goldsberry could get up to four years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
World-Herald staff writer Andrew J. Nelson contributed to this report.