http://www.thestar.com/News/article/255176 Parlour's `manual release' ruled legal Charges thrown out in masturbation case Sep 11, 2007 04:30 AM Nick Pron Courts Bureau Around the Newmarket courthouse, they're calling it the "Monica Lewinsky ruling," a reference to the White House intern who performed a certain sexual act on then-president Bill Clinton. Although that was an oral act, the case in the courthouse north of Toronto that is creating such a buzz involves "manual release," and whether or not masturbating a client at a Vaughan body rub parlour was an act of prostitution. Justice Howard Chisvin, of the Ontario Court of Justice, didn't think so, and dismissed two bawdy house charges against Valeri Ponomarev, the manager of Studio 176, in a recent ruling that said: "The payment of money was for a full-body massage. The act of masturbation was optional, at no additional fee. I wonder, and am left in doubt as to whether or not the community might consider the act of masturbation in all situations to be sexual." The judge then made a reference to Clinton's liaison with the intern. "One only needs to look to the conduct of a certain president of the United States and ... the activity that he participated in to wonder whether or not the act of masturbation is indeed, in all circumstances, a sexual act." Will the judge's ruling open the flood gates for more "happy endings" at rub and tugs without fear of police prosecution? Lawyer Alan Gold says it's too early to tell. But he said he believed the judgment to be unprecedented and said it will be in the next issue of his Criminal Law Netletter, a collection of "novel and important" cases. In his ruling, Chisvin was critical of the undercover York Regional police officer in the case. The court heard how the officer stripped naked, lay first on his stomach and then flipped over for the female attendant, stopping her when she put her oiled-up hands on his penis. He went to the massage parlour again, going through the drill with another attendant. "It strikes me that his actions were not only unnecessary but outside a protocol of investigative techniques of offences of this nature and bordered on no more than attending for self-gratification."