Woman pleads guilty in prostitution ring
One of the women arrested three years ago for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of a Somerton massage parlor has pleaded guilty in a plea agreement but won't be sentenced until later this year.
Won Sil Shim, 57, a Korean citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States, pleaded guilty last month to one count of criminal impersonation, a Class 6 felony. In return, 33 other charges against her were dismissed.
Among the charges dismissed were 12 counts of pandering, four counts of receiving earnings from a prostitute, four counts of enticing a person for prostitution, five counts of prostitution, three counts of being an employee of a house of prostitution and one count each of illegal control of an enterprise, managing or financing a criminal syndicate, participating in or assisting a criminal syndicate, maintaining a house of prostitution and transportation for purpose of prostitution.
Shim, who is represented by Yuma attorney Richard Edgar, is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 2 before Superior Court Judge John Nelson.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Shim could be sentenced to from three months to two years, with the presumptive sentence being one year. Probation is also available. Shim has also been ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution.
The plea agreement, however, does contain several stipulations, such as if she is given probation it will be for 36 months and that she will be able to serve it in California. It also stipulates that she not serve any additional jail time.
The two other women arrested in the case — Muae Park, 56, a Korean citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States, and Hyun Joo Song, 34, a Korean citizen suspected of being in the country illegally — have already been sentenced.
Park was sentenced to 36 months of supervised probation in December 2012 after pleading guilty to one count of false reporting to law enforcement. Song was sentenced to six months in jail with credit for 396 days previously served on a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, which she also pleaded guilty to in a plea agreement.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, along with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Somerton Police Department, opened the joint investigation into the Smile Spa Massage business on Main Street in Somerton in February 2010 based on citizen complaints related to prostitution.
During the joint investigation, several undercover agents were allegedly offered sexual services in addition to the legitimate massages offered at the business.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.