Prostitute suspect won’t face jail time
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Prosecutors don’t plan to seek jail time for a woman accused of committing prostitution in Glenwood Springs.Deputy district attorney Katie Steers said a jail sentence doesn’t appear to be warranted if Hui Jun Mu is convicted of the charges against her.Jun Mu appeared in Garfield County Court Monday on misdemeanor charges related to her arrest in a police undercover operation Oct. 5 at A-1 Chinese Health Care Massage on Grand Avenue.She is charged with prostitution, which is punishable by up to six months in county jail and $650 in fines, and unlawful sexual contact, punishable by up to two years in jail and $5,000 in fines.Her case has been complicated by the fact that she speaks Mandarin rather than English. She was aided in court Monday by one interpreter who appeared in person and a second who spoke via a conference call.During Monday’s hearing, Jun Mu, who is unemployed, said she wanted a public defender. Public defender Garth McCarty said normally that service isn’t available when prosecutors aren’t seeking jail time, but he was willing to make a rare exception because of her situation, and the language barrier in particular.Steers said it appears Jun Mu wants to go to trial on the charges. Jun Mu on Monday indicated her desire to give her version of events at the time of the arrest.”Do you want me to tell you what happened that day?” she asked via a translator during Monday’s court appearance.Judge Paul Metzger, Steers and McCarty all immediately answered by saying no.”This is not the time to get into the facts of the case,” Metzger explained to Jun Mu as she peered over his desk and listened to his words being translated via speaker phone.She is scheduled to enter a plea in the case Jan. 29.Jun Mu’s permanent home is in Los Angeles.She was arrested the same night police also arrested Qing Zhang, owner of the Asian Day Spa on Cooper Avenue, on charges including prostitution and running a house of prostitution. Police have said they don’t think the two businesses are connected, or that Jun Mu’s employer had been aware of her alleged prostitution activities.Zhang is due in court Thursday. Steers said she didn’t know yet whether a jail sentence would be sought if Zhang is convicted.”We do look at each case individually,” she said.Prostitution cases are extremely rare in Glenwood Springs. Steers said these are the first prostitution charges she has prosecuted so she probably will look into what kind of sentences district attorney offices elsewhere in the state typically seek in such cases.Jun Mu and Zhang both are free on bond.Contact Dennis Webb: email@example.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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