Muller convicted in prostitution case
WORTHINGTON -- Wayne Alan Muller, 60, of Windom, was convicted of attempting to hire a prostitute and fleeing a peace officer in Nobles County District Court this week. Muller was one of six men caught in a sting by local law enforcement agencies...
WORTHINGTON - Wayne Alan Muller, 60, of Windom, was convicted of attempting to hire a prostitute and fleeing a peace officer in Nobles County District Court this week. Muller was one of six men caught in a sting by local law enforcement agencies last May.
Defense counsel argued in December that the case should be dismissed because the statute Muller and the other men were charged with is “Prostitution-Patron-Hires, Offers or Agrees to Hire to Engage in Prostitution in Public Place,” which requires the transaction to be made in a public place. The transaction between Muller and undercover officers took place in his personal vehicle that was parked in the parking lot of a business.
According to court documents, Muller testified to the following at that hearing, in part:
* That on May 29, 2015 he did access a backpage.com page on his cell phone.
* That at 1:49 p.m. that day he communicated via text message with the phone number on the advertisement.
* That at the time he communicated by text to the phone number in the ad, he was located in downtown Worthington, at a parking lot of a tire store, sitting alone inside his pickup truck.
* That at 4:41 p.m. he called the phone number from the advertisement while still sitting in the downtown parking lot.
* That at 4:48 p.m. he made another call to the number from the advertisement, this time in the hotel parking lot where he was told what room the woman was in.
* That he went into the hotel and entered the room.
Muller also testified to leaving the room shortly after his arrival, which he had previously admitted when questioned by law enforcement following his arrest in May. Muller said during the December hearing that he had left the room and walked down the hall, but later - when a deputy suggested he was running - he agreed, but didn’t think he was.
Muller entered a guilty plea Wednesday to the prostitution charge and an Alford plea on the second count of fleeing a peace officer. As part of the plea agreement, the prostitution charge was lowered from a gross misdemeanor to a misdemeanor. An Alford plea means that enough evidence is present to convict but the defendant does not admit guilt.
Muller was sentenced to 90 days in Nobles County Jail, with credit for one day served on the prostitution charge. However, the remaining 89 days of the sentence were stayed for two years. Muller will be placed on probation during that time, with the first year of the probation supervised and the second year unsupervised.
Additionally, Muller was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and $585 in fees that included a prostitution penalty assessment of $500. A stay of imposition was entered on the second charge as well. Similarly, Muller received a 90 day sentence with credit for one day served with the remaining 89 days stayed. He was also ordered to one year of probation that is to run concurrently with probation on the prostitution charge.