(bismarktribune.com) - A Missouri man has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge related to allegations he put his wife out for prostitution in Bismarck.
Marvin Rex Lord, 67, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday at the Burleigh County Courthouse to facilitating prostitution. South Central District Judge David Reich scheduled a trial in the case for June 3 and 4.
Lord was arrested Feb. 6 after the staff of a Bismarck hotel reported they believed he was offering a woman in his room for prostitution. They reported he was meeting men in the lobby, taking them to a room, then waiting in the lobby until another arrived.
An undercover officer contacted Lord, who told him to go to the hotel room, court documents and police reports say. When the officer did so, the woman inside offered him sex.
The 41-year-old woman, who is from China, was arrested for prostitution. She was charged in municipal court on Feb. 7 and later pleaded guilty. She was released from jail after serving 14 days. The woman told police, through a translator, that she was not forced into prostitution. However, the Tribune is not naming her because she may be considered a victim in the case.
According to a search warrant, police seized $8,205 found in the hotel room, along with condoms, documents, receipts, a computer and drives, cellphones and other items.
Steve Balaban, Lordâ€™s appointed defense attorney, requested that Reich allow Lord to be released from the Burleigh County Detention Center on his promise to appear or an unsecured bond. Lord has been held in the jail since his arrest, and police have seized approximately $2,000 in an out-of-state account, Balaban said. If Lord had that money, he could get out of jail.
Balaban also said Lord has no criminal history and is not a danger to the community. If requested, Lord would abstain from contacting the woman in the case, Balaban said. The woman is not listed as a potential witness in the case.
Burleigh County Assistant Stateâ€™s Attorney Dawn Deitz opposed Balabanâ€™s motion to amend the bond order. She said the seized money in the bank account may be the proceeds of prostitution and is considered evidence. She also said Lord has no ties to North Dakota and â€śonly came to North Dakota to facilitate prostitution.â€ť
At the time of his arrest, Lord said he had been in Bismarck less than a week. According to court documents, he got tickets for not having current registration or insurance in Williston on Feb. 1.
Reich denied the request to change the bond amount.