Correction to This Article
A credit was omitted from the photo of Brandy Britton's home that appeared on the front of the May 21 Style section. The photo was taken by staff photographer Mark Gail.

The House With The Lights On

By Darragh Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 21, 2006

Brandy Britton is on the floor kissing Penelope, her potbelly pig.

Penelope isn't happy. She grunts, loudly, on the bare mattress in her upstairs bedroom. Britton nuzzles her ear.

"You're a bad, bossy girl," she purrs and kisses the pig's snout. Penelope rolls on her side. With a set of red, square fingernails, Britton tickles the pig's belly.

"You're so bad," Britton says, her voice husky and deep. "Such a bad, bossy girl."

She stands -- slender and stacked, blond curls hanging down her back -- and walks into her bedroom. It's 11:05 p.m. The radio is tuned to 92Q, and the DJ on "The Love Zone" is about to give away a "passion pack," complete with "blindfold and scented candles."

"Why don't you come in here?" Britton says, on her way to change into something more comfortable. Just before disappearing behind a bathroom door that doesn't entirely close, she offers:

"You can sit on the bed."

* * *

This is the 42-year-old woman police accuse of "operating a house of prostitution at her home" on a manicured cul-de-sac in wealthy Howard County.

The woman with a PhD in sociology, an expertise in women's studies and a former career as a well-regarded college professor.

The woman who one day at lunchtime earlier this year opened her front door to an undercover detective, led him upstairs and told him, police would later contend, "to undress and place the money on a table by the door." He set down $400, then slipped back downstairs.

Soon, several detectives and a uniformed officer were swarming into Britton's $400,000 house and, she says, dumping out drawers, pulling clothes off hangers, even sweeping the cartoon magnets off her fridge. Armed with a search warrant, they hauled away their evidence: 150 condoms, lubricant, cash, a vibrator and computer equipment.

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