Tuesday 20 February 2018

Suburban mother finally makes bail over brothel-running charges

Rachel Alexander in New York

A suburban mother charged with being a high-class brothel keeper was released from a US jail on bond yesterday, after four months behind bars.

The case is drawing unprecedented media attention because of claims that prominent clients and law-enforcement protectors were amongst her clients.

Anna Gristina walked out of a Manhattan courthouse, free for the first time since her February arrest.

She was flanked by her husband and their nine-year-old son, pictured, who had arrived with a bouquet of red roses.

"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.

The Scotland-born Ms Gristina (44) is a mother of four who tends to rescued pigs at her home in Monroe, New York.

But prosecutors said she also was the madam of a sex service for 15 years, making millions of dollars and boasting that she had contacts in law enforcement who could tip her off if she was about to get busted.

Ms Gristina has said she was merely starting a matchmaking service, not peddling prostitutes.

She has pleaded not guilty to promoting prostitution, a low-level felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Ms Gristina was arrested on February 22 as she left a fundraising meeting at a friend's Morgan Stanley office, where she had been trying to raise money for her business, prosecutors say.

"The nightmare of her bond ends today, and trial preparation begins tomorrow morning," said her lawyer, Norman Pattis.

She is due to appear in court again on August 17.

Irish Independent

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