About Hair Owner Guilty

Duncan W. Purdy, owner of the About Hair salon and antique store near Harvard Square, was “found guilty of maintaining a house of prostitution and deriving support from the earnings of a prostitute” last week, according to Middlesex District Attorney Spokeswoman Meredith Lerner.

Purdy is scheduled to return for sentencing for the prostitution charges on March 13. The case was brought to trial before the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on February 20, and ended on February 23. Purdy pled not guilty to all charges.

According to the Commonwealth’s statement of the case, detectives Louis Cherubino Jr. and James Hyde, in conjunction with the Cambridge Special Investigations Unit, began to investigate the About Hair salon and Purdy in October 2005.

James Hyde, the Somerset Police detective who came to the salon posing as a customer on October 4, 2005, discovered that along with massages, About Hair also offered a selection of “extras” listed on a laminated sheet of paper called a “Massage Menu”—various sexual acts with the masseuses.

In October 2005 police issued a warrant to search the premises and arrested Purdy, according to the report. A follow-up investigation revealed that Purdy knew the masseuses were offering sexual favors to customers for money, and was receiving a share of the profits from the sale of “extras.”

The defendant did not testify during the trial, according to a statement written by J. Daniel Silverman, his attorney.

Silverman filed a Motion for a Required Finding of Not Guilty on February 23 on Purdy’s behalf.

According to Lerner, Purdy is also scheduled for another trial on April 19 on “charges of rape and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over.”

A pretrial conference in connection with these charges will also be held on March 13.

Neither Purdy nor Silverman could be reached for comment.

—Staff writer Yelena S. Mironova can be reached at mironova@fas.harvard.edu.