Despite the prosecution’s offer of a plea agreement, a Colorado Springs woman accused of operating a prostitution ring out of her massage clinic entered a not-guilty plea to all counts on Wednesday morning.
Akira Summers, also known as Shirley Briar Rose King, is accused of five offences, including attempted prostitution, and pimping. In recent months, the prosecution has offered plea offers many times, with the most recent one requiring a guilty plea to attempted pimping, a Class 4 felony. The prosecution pointed out that the plea deal included a mandatory three-year probationary term under supervision.
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According to Colorado law, pimping is a Class 3 felony that carries a four- to 12-year jail sentence as well as a fine of up to $750,000.
King’s jury date has been scheduled for November 28 in the 4th Judicial District Court of Colorado.
In November 2020, King was identified as a person of interest by law enforcement after they received information that she was running an unlawful enterprise out of the Sutra Healing Center in south Colorado Springs. The evidence sparked a nearly year-long investigation into King’s company. Police discovered a ledger thought to contain information on unlawful acts, and a detective also entered the massage parlour covertly.
According to the arrest affidavit, during King’s questioning, the investigator discovered that King had numerous of the ladies she hired engaged in sexual activities with customers and that she retained a share of the money. According to the affidavit, King stated that she was acting as a “life coach” when the investigator suspected that she was pimping the females.
King was detained on September 22 and released after posting a $10,000 bond.
When it was found that King had reportedly given a detective a “body slide” massage—an act in which both parties are nude and make intimate physical contact—it raised questions about the validity of the undercover investigation against King. According to authorities, the investigator paid King for the massage. King is scheduled to return to court on September 7 for a motion hearing before her jury trial.
The undercover investigation that led to the raid revealed to officers from the Metro Vice Unit of the CSPD that the massage business was essentially a cover for prostitution. Detectives were informed that King was generating money by terminating her staff behind closed doors.
Detectives raided an adult entertainment party that [the suspect] was organizing after conducting an investigation, and they found that she had invited numerous adult women to perform sex acts for pay, according to the police.
When arrest records indicated one of the cops participating in the undercover operation had received sex acts from King, he became the subject of an inquiry. But eventually, the district attorney’s office exonerated him of all charges.
Marquette Drive was a secure location for the Sutra Healing Center. Days after King’s arrest in September 2022, a Google search revealed the company to be permanently shuttered.
When she responded to a job post three years ago that promised thousands of dollars a month but provided no work description, she was 49, a new immigrant, and heavily in debt to loan sharks back in China. The fact that she had been duped into working at a massage parlour in Flushing, Queens, where she would be required to provide sexual services for up to a dozen men each day in addition to massaging backs, was something she only understood too late. We just need to think positively about her life in the trial.