Brothel owner found dead in Vegas hotel

Nan O’Reilly

A former Grand Junction woman convicted of running a brothel on Horizon Drive was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room Tuesday.

Security staff at Paris Hotel and Casino found the body of 61-year-old Nan O’Reilly about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday inside a room next to an open bottle of whiskey, cigarettes and two suitcases, according to officer Barbara Morgan, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Foul play is not suspected, and no note was left behind, Morgan said.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office said a ruling on cause and manner of death is pending the results of unspecified tests, which could take six to eight weeks.

O’Reilly checked in alone March 9 and was scheduled to leave Tuesday, Morgan said. Hotel security decided to check on her welfare Tuesday because she hadn’t been seen since Sunday, she said.

The former owner of Fuji Oriental Massage Therapy, 762 Horizon Drive, O’Reilly had been serving a six-year probation sentence stemming from guilty pleas to charges of pimping and tax evasion in connection with prostitution activities at the business.

O’Reilly recently learned she faced 30 years in prison if convicted of violating probation in her Mesa County case, after her arrest in July 2010 on a trespassing charge in Jefferson County. She was not in attendance during a hearing on that matter March 10 before Mesa County District Judge Valerie Robison.

The judge had agreed to waive O’Reilly’s appearance in advance of the hearing.

O’Reilly seemed in good spirits during a phone conversation March 10, after the court hearing in Mesa County, according to Stephen Laiche, her attorney.

“She was teasing about buying me a new (business) suit to pay for her probation violation stuff,” Laiche said. “We joked around.”

O’Reilly had been fined nearly $90,000 by Robison as part of her probation sentence. She never paid, arguing through an attorney to the Colorado Court of Appeals the fine was excessive, tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment. The appellate court has yet to rule on the issue.

Fuji Massage operated 14 years before it was closed by police in November 2008.

As part of a plea agreement with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, O’Reilly was interviewed in-depth for several hours by state and federal authorities about Fuji’s activities before she pleaded guilty in April 2010.

“She was comical at times,” Laiche recalled of the interview.

“She was talking about divorcing one husband because he ate watermelon in bed. He was too messy for her.”

A South Korea native who racked up several prostitution-related arrests before she came to Grand Junction in 1994, O’Reilly claimed during her interview that Fuji Massage had been offering sex to customers since 1997.

She said she had changed her name to O’Reilly because it “sounded American,” Laiche said.


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