A Fort Lee woman charged with prostitution after an undercover sting by the Morris Plains Police Department of a Route 10 spa entered a not guilty plea Tuesday afternoon in Morris Plains Municipal Court.
Kim O. Hye, 54, looked downward and stood silently next to attorney Lee Levitt, who spoke for her.
Hye was arrested at the VIP Spa Thursday following a five-month investigation by the Morris Plains detective bureau that police said involved the VIP Spa at 1745 Route 10 East.
According to police, more than $1,000 was seized during the arrest, which occurred during a motor vehicle stop in Parsippany.
Police said Hye engaged in sexual activity with another individual in exchange for cash and attempted to participate in sexual activity with an undercover officer.
The VIP Spa, which stands in a small strip mall, appears to be a legitimate enterprise that accepts appointments and walk-in traffic. The business has advertisements on the website backpages.com calling the spa "a comfortable and private place" with "nice and clean rooms" that offers deep tissue, Swedish, Shiatsu and back-rub massages performed by "well trained Asian staffs [sic]."
The ads do not mention sexual acts.
When Patch visited the spa, employees declined to comment on the sting or on Hye's arrest.
Police said more arrests are possible.
Levitt told Patch that his client has never been arrested before. He showed documents indicating that Hye earned certification in massage from the Hopewell Career Institute in July 2011.
"She has fulfilled the state's educational requirements in her application to become a licensed masseuse," the lawyer said.
Hye declined comment.
The woman's next court appearance will be an Oct. 16 status conference, when the trial date will be set, Morris Plains Municipal Judge Michael A. Carlucci said.