Scots-born New York ‘Madam’ faces deportation from US after admitting vice charge
A SCOTTISH mother accused of running a multi-million-dollar escort service in New York City could face deportation after
admitting a charge of promoting prostitution.
• Anna Gristina pleads guilty to promoting prostitution
• Sentencing on 20 November
US prosecutors said Anna Gristina, who is originally from Edinburgh but now lives in Monroe, New York, as a legal US citizen, was the madam of a Manhattan sex service for 15 years.
The 45-year-old has said that she was merely starting a matchmaking service, not peddling call girls, but admitted the single charge of promoting prostitution as part of a plea deal at Manhattan supreme court.
The charge stems from an incident in July 2011, in which authorities say she arranged a tryst between two women and an undercover police officer posing as a client.
Gristina spent four months in jail before being released on a $250,000 (£154,000) bond in June.
The judge said she will be sentenced on 20 November and that she could also be deported from the US.
After the hearing, Gristina told the New York Post: “I’m pretty broken inside. I used to have the fight inside me but now I don’t. And I couldn’t get a better deal.”
The mother of four, who has not lived in Scotland for 30 years, added: “My family is here, my children are here. I really want all of them to be just able to get on with their lives.”
Gristina lives on a 12-acre property in Monroe, which is around 50 miles north of New York City, and is said to have spent time helping abandoned pet pigs find homes.
Prosecutors alleged that she made millions from the business, which was said to have had a roster of wealthy clients.
Co-accused Jaynie Baker, a former matchmaking recruiter charged with helping Gristina set up sexual encounters, reached a deal to resolve her case. Baker, 31, is due back in court on 2 October.
Gristina was arrested on 22 February as she left a friend’s
office after a fundraising meeting for her business, prosecutors said.
In trying to get the case dismissed, her lawyer, Norman Pattis, wrote that the district attorney’s office “vindictively prosecuted her as a result of her failure to co-operate with investigators” during what he called an illegal interrogation.
Gristina said in court papers that investigators shrugged off her requests for a lawyer and told her they would let her go if she gave them information about five men – not named in her papers but described as a financier, an international banker and a member of a politically connected family, among others.
The district attorney’s office said in court papers that Gristina “has not produced a shred of evidence of actual vindictiveness”.
A grand jury indicted Gristina before her arrest, undermining her argument that she was prosecuted because she did not co-operate, assistant district attorneys Elizabeth Roper and Charles Linehan wrote.
Two accused prostitutes and an accused money-launderer were also arrested in the case.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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