Defense attorney calls arrest in prostitution case ‘illegal’ |

Defense attorney calls arrest in prostitution case ‘illegal’

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A defense attorney called an undercover arrest related to possible prostitution at an Asian massage parlor “illegal,” and the case appears to be headed for trial.”There was an illegal arrest. They didn’t get a warrant for this,” said Hui Jun Mu’s attorney, Thomas Silverman, during a hearing Monday. “It appears they came in with a foregone conclusion that they were going to make an arrest.”He argued that there was no real communication between Jun Mu and an undercover officer, and there was no physical proof that an act of prostitution was offered or attempted. During the officer’s testimony, Silverman elicited that the officer agreed to pay $40 for a 30-minute massage and then took his clothes off behind a curtained-off area without being prompted. The officer said that was how a similar undercover operation that same night had worked.Deputy District Attorney Kate Brewer argued that a law enforcement has the right to make an arrest without a warrant if they believe a crime has been committed.Judge Paul Metzger denied the prosecution’s motion to vacate the hearing, and also denied a defense motion to suppress evidence.Brewer argued for the hearing to be vacated, saying Jun Mu should be present in court. She also argued that more specificity is required in Silverman’s motion.Silverman argued that prosecutors didn’t file their motion to vacate the hearing in a timely manner, saying that it was filed on Friday and didn’t give him the required five days of notice. He also pointed out that Katie Steers, who was previously prosecuting the case, had agreed Jun Mu could appear by telephone.”There’s been a transition in the office,” Brewer said.Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney said the prosecution objects to having to put on any evidence in Monday’s hearing. He added that the defense counsel just wants to go on a “fishing expedition” for more evidence.Silverman objected to Cheney speaking for prosecutors instead of Brewer. He said maybe he should get five or six defense attorneys to come up to the stand and “get their shots in.”Metzger allowed Cheney a brief opportunity to speak, but found the motion was not filed in time and that prosecutors had previously agreed Jun Mu could appear by phone.A Glenwood Springs Police detective testified that a woman at another massage business notified authorities because she was suspicious about prostitution at the two locations. She told him she received many phone calls from males asking about massage businesses, a few of whom asked for “special” or “special manly” massages, the detective said. One man apparently had specifically asked for something sexual over the phone.Jun Mu, 48 at the time, was arrested in early October at the A1 Chinese Health Care Massage on Grand Avenue. An undercover officer said she touched his private parts and asked him, “You want?” He said she told him it would cost “60 dollar” more. He had asked her “what?” and at one point used a hand motion to try to make it clear what they were talking about, the officer said. She was originally charged with prostitution and unlawful sexual contact.Qing Zhang, 41 at the time, was arrested the same night in a similar undercover operation at the Asian Day Spa on Cooper Avenue. The owner of the VIP Spa in Parachute, Yong Sun Fountain, 48 at the time, was arrested in April in a third similar undercover operation. In June, she filed a lawsuit against Parachute and its town board claiming the spa’s business license was illegally taken away. An employee of hers, Soon Hee Kim, was also arrested at the VIP Spa.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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