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Jury Acquits Dominatrix

January 31, 2006|From Associated Press

DEDHAM, Mass. — A dominatrix was acquitted of manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who prosecutors say suffered a heart attack while strapped to a replica of a medieval rack.

Barbara Asher, a 56-year-old woman who called herself Mistress Lauren M, was also cleared of dismemberment.

Prosecutors said that 53-year-old Michael Lord suffered a heart attack in 2000 during a bondage session in a "dungeon" in Asher's condominium and that Asher did nothing to help him for five minutes for fear authorities would find out about her business.

Asher had her boyfriend chop up the body of the 275-pound retired telephone company worker, and they dumped it in Maine, prosecutors said. His remains have not been found.

Prosecutors said Asher confessed to police, but the alleged confession was not taped, and investigators testified they did not save their notes.

Asher's lawyer, Stephanie Page, said there was nothing to prove Lord was even dead -- no body, no blood, no DNA.

During his closing argument, prosecutor Robert Nelson put on a black leather mask with a zippered mouth opening and re-enacted the bondage session.

Asher's lawyer objected, and the judge agreed. "That's enough Mr. Nelson," Judge Charles Grabau said. "Thank you for your demonstration."

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