A former East Los Angeles College professor, who pleaded no contest to a charge of conspiracy to maintain a house of prostitution and two charges of state income tax evasion, was sentenced Tuesday to four years probation, one of them under house arrest.
Hal Mintz, 57, was ordered to report today to an electronic supervision office in Torrance, where he will be fitted with an electronic transmitter that will allow law enforcement officials to ensure he does not leave his home in San Marino except for work, religious services or medical emergencies.
Mintz also was ordered to pay $10,000 in fines and all taxes owed for 1985 and 1986, which will be determined at a hearing Jan. 25.
Superior Court Judge David Perez sentenced Mintz after saying that the defendant's operation of an illicit massage parlor in West Hollywood was motivated by greed, but that Mintz "has already suffered because he lost something he really loved--teaching."
Mintz, a business law professor who worked in education for 22 years, resigned his college post in August, after widespread publicity about the massage parlor.
The Beverly Hills Massage Parlor, at 8574 Santa Monica Blvd., was closed in February after authorities said at least 10 women had been arrested there for sex-related offenses since 1984.
After several plea bargaining sessions, prosecutors agreed not to charge Mintz with pimping and pandering, each of which carries a mandatory three-year prison term.
Mintz's attorney, Anthony Glassman, said his client's professional and financial losses have been more than sufficient punishment for Mintz. He praised Perez's decision as fair because it took Mintz's wife and two teen-age children into consideration.
Effect of Prison Time
"They have always been a two-income family and they could not keep their ship afloat even if Mr. Mintz were incarcerated for only a few months," Glassman told the judge. "They face certain bankruptcy and foreclosure on the home they have owned for 14 years."
Mintz, who earned a law degree from Loyola University, is a first-time offender and has provided invaluable service to his community and students, Glassman said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Eldon Fox, who had argued that Mintz should go to prison, agreed that Perez's decision was fair because, "in effect, Mintz will still serve jail time, and he will be able to support his family.
"I think he should be punished, but it would not be fair to destroy the entire family," he said.
Both attorneys said the house arrest sentence is unique for felony convictions.
Choice of Courts
Glassman, who has practiced law for more than 20 years, said, "I've never had a client in the program, but I understand the courts are starting to do more of it because the jails are overcrowded and it is a lot less expensive to jail someone in their home."
Mintz will assume all costs of his house arrest, which authorities estimate to be $10 a day.
Mintz will wear at all times a beeper-like device strapped above his ankle. The device, which is about the size of a chalk board eraser, will send signals every 72 seconds through a transmitter connected through his telephone to the Torrance surveillance office.
If Mintz moves farther than 100 feet from the transmitter the signal will be broken and the transmitter will send a signal through the telephone lines, notifying authorities of the time and date of the violation.
However, Mintz will be allowed to leave home for work, and a letter to Judge Perez indicates that Mintz has been hired as an assistant office manager by a commercial real estate and development company.