A business law professor whose massage parlor in West Hollywood was closed after a series of sex-related arrests there pleaded no contest Thursday to conspiracy to maintain a house of prostitution and two counts of state income tax evasion.
As part of a plea bargain, prosecutors agreed not to charge Hal Mintz, 57, chairman of the business department at East Los Angeles College, with pimping and pandering, which carry mandatory three-year prison sentences on conviction, Deputy Dist. Atty. Eldon Fox said.
They also agreed to recommend a term of five years of formal probation and no more than one year in the county jail, in addition to fines, when Mintz is sentenced Sept. 26 in Superior Court, Fox said.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Community College District said the plea bargain might complicate its efforts to dismiss Mintz, who still holds his $45,000-a-year teaching job. The state education code says officials can immediately suspend anyone charged with pimping or pandering, but does not mention the lesser charges.
Mintz's massage parlor on Santa Monica Boulevard, across from West Hollywood's City Hall, was closed in February after authorities said at least 10 women had been arrested there for sex-related offenses since 1984.
The tax charges stem from Mintz's failure to file state returns for 1985 and 1986. Records seized at Mintz's San Marino home showed that he earned at least $200,000 in 1986, Fox said.