Prostitution suspect pleads not guilty |

Prostitution suspect pleads not guilty

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS The District Attorney’s Office has yet to get a happy ending in the first of two prostitution cases arising from undercover investigations at Asian massage parlors in Glenwood Springs. Hui Jun Mu pleaded not guilty Monday to prostitution and unlawful sexual contact; the case will go to trial in May. The 48-year-old Jun Mu was working at A-1 Chinese Health Care Massage on Grand Avenue at the time of her arrest.The prostitution charge is punishable by up to six months in county jail and $650 in fines; unlawful sexual contact carries up to two years in jail and $5,000 in fines. But Deputy District Attorney Katie Steers said previously that jail time may not be warranted in this case. Jun Mu spoke through her attorney, public defender Garth McCarty, and a Mandarin Chinese interpreter who participated via telephone. She asked for the official police report so that she could “thoroughly understand” its contents, her interpreter said.The trial is set to begin May 15. A pretrial hearing is set for at April 12. McCarty requested allowing Jun Mu to miss the pretrial hearing; he said, “She comes all the way from Los Angeles each time she appears in court.”Steers objected, citing translation and identification issues as concerns. Judge Paul Metzger said he expects Jun Mu to appear at the pretrial hearing, but his decision could be reviewed after motions are filed.An arrest affidavit states that an undercover officer wearing a wireless transmitter entered A-1 Chinese Health Care Massage in early October and paid $40 for a half-hour massage. The officer stated Jun Mu touched his private parts, then asked, “you want?” and told him it would cost $60 when he said “yes.” Officers arrived after Jun Mu indicated the act she intended to perform and was paid, the affidavit states.On the same night, police also arrested Qing Zhang, 41, owner of the Asian Day Spa on Cooper Avenue. Zhang was charged with 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 was aware of her alleged prostitution activities. Zhang is scheduled to appear in court March 29.