Nyack Motor Lodge pays $10,000 after prostitution and drug busts

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Owners of a motel in Rockland County had to pay a sizable fine Thursday after the business was repeatedly busted for prostitution and drug dealing.

County authorities used what they call “the public nuisance law” to target the owners of the Nyack Motor Lodge in West Nyack for turning a blind eye to the crimes allegedly happening in their rooms.

As part of the punishment, the Motor Lodge owners had to make out a $10,000 check to the Center for Safety and Change. The organization is Rockland's only provider of services to victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking.

Authorities say that kind of payout to a philanthropic agency instead of the county is rare, happening only one other time in Rockland, when the Days Inn in Nanuet had to pay a similar fee to the Center for Prostitution Crimes.

“We could have taken a civil penalty, it would have been payable to the county and gone into the county coiffures, but the case was really about the people who were being victimized and the neighbors around them. And we wanted to find a good thing to do with the money,” says Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach.

Authorities say they expect to see more of these payouts instead of fines because it sends the right message while helping out those who live there.

Managers for the Nyack Motor Lodge say they have been cooperative with police and want to ensure everyone's safety at the motel.

They say they are also changing the motel's name to the Tappan Zee Hotel and upgrading rooms to help improve the quality for guests.

Go HERE to see extended footage from Thursday's news conference.

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