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Judge Hearing Evidence Today in Springfield Prostitution Ring Case

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Springfield man and his wife, both accused of promoting prostitution, are due in court today in Greene County.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Springfield man and his wife, both accused of promoting prostitution, are due in court today in Greene County.

A bench trial is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. for Mark L. Fiedler, 43. His wife, former public school teacher Laura Fiedler, 35, appeared in court Monday morning for a pretrial conference. Her case was continued to Sept. 25.

The charges stem from an investigation in February, 2011 at the Landmark Building on S. Jefferson in downtown Springfield.

According to court documents, (see below) police served a search warrant at an office in the building, after an anonymous citizen called police about suspicious activity on the third floor.

Police discovered that several women were allegedly using two rooms in the building to meet men for sexual encounters.

An undercover officer confronted and interviewed one of the women involved. She told police a man and woman who rent the rooms would arrange the meetings with men through a website called backpage.com.

About a month later, Springfield public school officials confirmed one of its teachers was placed on administrative leave as part of the on-going investigation into the prostitution ring.  SPS said the woman was a third grade teacher and worked for the district since 2001.  Laura Fiedler was not named at that time because she was not formally charged.

"To have a prostitution ring where it's choreographed and staged and the girls know what time to show up and somebody is doing something for them, that's rare," police Cpl. Matt Brown said at the time.

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