Alexis I. Caloza ’04, a first-year student at Harvard Law School, was
browsing through the antiques section of About Hair with his roommate
one day in early September when a woman on a couch in the back of the
store approached them with an unusual offer.
In addition to selling antiques, styling hair, and displaying
risque art, the salon also offered another amenity: massages. A woman
who said her name was “Meece” offered the service to the men, Caloza
When Caloza asked why the price of the massage—$50 for 15
minutes—was so steep, the woman replied that she would “make it worth
his while,” Caloza said.
Caloza and his roommate politely declined the invitation, but
not before they were approached by another woman with a similar offer
who, according to Caloza, was young. In fact, he said, she “didn’t look
Caloza said he and his roommate didn’t think much about the
encounter until they heard of store owner Duncan W. Purdy’s recent
arrest, following an undercover investigation by Cambridge and
Somerville police, who allege that Purdy ran and profited from a “house
Purdy’s lawyer, Francisco J. Fernandez, said he had no comment on Caloza’s allegations.
On Dec. 1, a Middlesex grand jury indicted Purdy, 52, on
charges of maintaining a house of prostitution and deriving support
from a house of prostitution.
The indictment was a largely procedural measure, because
Purdy’s charges carry a maximum sentence of more than five years each
and the district court only hears crimes that carry lesser sentences,
according to Middlesex District Attorney Spokeswoman Melissa Sherman.
Fernandez said he was not surprised by the grand jury’s decision to indict Purdy.
As a result of the indictment, Purdy’s arraignment will be in
the Middlesex Superior Court. No arraignment date has been set yet.
Fernandez said that Purdy would enter a plea of “not guilty.”
Purdy was arrested in early October at his salon and antique
store on Arrow Street after an undercover operation involving the
Cambridge and Sommerville Police Departments—prompted by complaints
filed with the Cambridge Police Department (CPD), according to CPD
spokesman Frank T. Pasquarello.
—Staff writer Sarah E.F. Milov can be reached at email@example.com.