independent

Monday 21 April 2014

'Scottish madam' Anna Gristina freed on bond in New York

ANNA Gristina, the alleged Scottish madam accused of running a high-class prostitute ring in New York, has been released from prison after posting a $250,000 bond.

The mother-of-four has been held in the infamous Riker's Island since February after being charged with promoting prostitution.



She walked out of a Manhattan courthouse around 9 pm, flanked by her husband and their 9-year-old son, who had arrived with a bouquet of red roses for his mother.



"Thank you, everybody - I just want to be with my family tonight, please," she said as they made their way through a crush of news photographers.



Her bond was initially set at $2 million (£1.2 million) but was lowered by an appeals court and last night a family friend reportedly put property to secure the bond.



Gristina, who was born in Kirkliston, near Edinburgh, is expected to be allowed to return to her sprawling home in upstate New York but will be made to wear an electronic tag.



She was arrested earlier this year after prosecutors charged that she was running an elite escort business and had made $15 million over the past decade.



The 44-year-old has always denied the charges, saying that she was in the match-making business for New York professionals. If convicted she faces up to seven years in prison.



"The nightmare of her bond ends today, and trial preparation begins tomorrow morning," said her lawyer, Norman Pattis, adding that they were looking forward to "when we walk out of this courtroom when we hear a verdict of 'not guilty.'"



She is due back in court on August 17.



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