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Concord lawyer to plead guilty to Salem prostitution charge

BRENTWOOD - A Concord lawyer has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor prostitution charge stemming from a visit to a Salem hotel room in June 2011.

Richard Mooney, 53, of Bow will plead guilty to a Class B misdemeanor charge of prostitution and pay a $1,000 fine, according to the terms of the deal.

Prosecutors will agree to drop a misdemeanor hindering apprehension charge for allegedly tipping off a prostitute that she was under surveillance by Salem police. Mooney is accused of calling the woman after he was pulled over by police on June 13, 2011.

The negotiated deal was struck roughly a month after Mooney tried to have his charges dismissed by a superior court judge.

Defense attorney Howard Roever argued in court papers that Salem police did not have enough legal justification to pull over Mooney after he left a Salem motel room that was under surveillance by police.

Assistant County Attorney Kirsten Wilson said in court papers that a Salem police detective observed Mooney slowly drive by a room being used by one of two prostitutes under surveillance by police.

Mooney then entered the room without any luggage and left about an hour later, according to Wilson.

Salem police then watched Mooney return to his car and drive off before pulling him over.

Mooney refused to speak with police after being pulled over in his car and identified by officers. But the prostitute, police said, told detectives that Mooney called her moments after his encounter with police officers to warn her that she was being watched by law enforcement.

The woman was given limited immunity in exchange for her sworn testimony, according to prosecutors. She was not charged in the case.

Wilson also argued that a judge should not consider Mooney's request to dismiss charges, suggesting it was untimely.

"These charges have been pending for approximately 21 months," she said in court papers. "Approximately six weeks before the most current date for jury selection, (Mooney) has raised a suppression issue for the first time."

Mooney is expected to enter his guilty plea on April 1 in Rockingham County Superior Court. He initially faced two Class A misdemeanors, which carries a penalty of up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.

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