A member of the federal grand jury that recently indicted three reputed massage parlor operators in Alexandria was dismissed from the panel after she met with a witness in a social situation, a source said yesterday.
The unidentified woman was removed from the panel by U.S. Dirstrict Court Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr., after it was discovered she had telephoned the witness and arranged a meeting, the source said.During the meeting, the juror coached the witness on how to answer questions and discussed the way in which the investigation was being conducted, according to the source.
The source said the dismissal took place last month and occurred before indictments were drawn up against the three defendants. The three -- Louis Michael Parrish, and two alleged associates, Larry J. Wadino and Kathy Lynn Caldwell -- were indicted Jan. 29 on charges including racketeering and prostitution.
U.S. Attorney William Cummings, whose office obtained the indictments, refused yesterday to confirm the account, but said, "If the story is true, I see no reason how it would jeopardize the indictments."
John Dowd, the lawyer representing Wadino, said however, "We think it's highly serious. Any breach of integrity in the process is serious."
Dowd said attorneys for the three codefendants will file a motion today in U.S. District Court asking for details of an FBI investigation of the incident.
Dowd said he learned of the incident during the first week of February and informed Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Hudson. Hudson declined to comment yesterday.