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Penryn spa employee arrested for alleged prostitution activity

By: Michelle Miller, Gold Country News Service
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A Penryn Day Spa employee has been arrested for involvement in prostitution activity following a Placer County Sheriff's Department sting operation. Zulma Higuera-Payan, 36, of Sacramento, was arrested last Tuesday on charges of solicitation for prostitution when an undercover sheriff's deputy was reportedly offered illegal services at the spa. She was booked at the Placer County Jail. "We want to get the message out that we're not going to let that kind of thing fly in Placer County," said Lt. Jeff Ausnow, public information officer with the Placer County Sheriff's Department. The six-week sheriff's department investigation used surveillance, records checks, and history checks on individuals involved with the business, Ausnow said. "The final stage of that investigation was to send in an undercover officer posing as a client for the day spa," he said. "During the course of that officer posing as a client, there was an offer for prostitution made, which was enough to lead to an arrest." The owner of the spa, Sunnie Sieng of Sacramento, was also cited city by Placer County Code Enforcement officers. The business remains open pending further investigation by county business licensing officials. Sieng, who said she was not there at the time of the incident, said Monday that her employee, Higuera-Payan, did nothing wrong. "You don't know exactly what goes on behind doors," she said. "So far as I know, she's innocent. It's ridiculous. They are harassing my business." Higuera-Payan was to be released Wednesday on $2,500 bail. Michelle Miller can be reached at michellema@goldcountrymedia.com.