Plea agreement reached in prostitution case

A woman charged with prostitution has reached a plea agreement in Municipal Court with the City of Minot. Yinmei Zeng, 30, an alien with no known address, was arrested by Minot Police on Nov. 11, 2016 and released on a $500 bond.

According to an affidavit filed with the court, an officer with the Ward County Narcotics Task Force responded by telephone to a Backpage Internet ad listing under Minot escorts. A female voice said in broken English that she was at the Grand Hotel and would text the room number.

After receiving the text the officer went to the room. Following the negotiation of price, other officers entered the room and Zeng was placed under arrest for the charge of prostitution.

Zeng, who speaks Mandarin Chinese and understands very little English, made two appearances in Municipal Court. An interpreter was needed so that Zeng could hear the charges made against her. She later chose to wave her personal appearances in favor of having an attorney, Ashley Flagstad of Minot, represent her.

Under terms of the agreement Judge Rasmuson sentenced Zeng, who is not a United States citizen, to a $1,525 fine and 40 hours of community service. According to Flagstad, Zeng will be allowed to perform her community service in a state other than North Dakota. Zeng has not listed an address or personal phone number with Municipal Court, only the phone number of a friend.