Accused New York "Soccer Mom Madam" released on bail

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 27, 2012 1:58 AM
Accused New York "Soccer Mom Madam" released on bail

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Accused Manhattan madam Anna Gristina, a suburban mother of four who prosecutors say ran a highly profitable brothel out of a Manhattan apartment, was released on bail late Tuesday after four months in jail.

Gristina, 44, walked out of Manhattan criminal court around 9 p.m. and stepped into a car driven by her husband and carrying one of her children. She made no comment.

Her attorney, Norman Pattis, the ninth defense lawyer to appear in connection with the case, said a bond package had been approved by prosecutors. Gristina's bail bondsman, Ira Judelson, had said she should be let out on a $250,000 bond.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment.

Gristina previously rejected an offer from one of her earlier attorneys to put up his Manhattan apartment as collateral for her bond, preferring to remain in a Rikers Island jail while her family worked to come up with enough cash to secure her release.

The case has captured the attention of the New York tabloids, which have dubbed Gristina the "Soccer Mom Madam" and the "Hockey Mom Madam." Prosecutors charged her with a single count of promoting prostitution after a five-year investigation involving surveillance and wiretaps. She has pleaded not guilty.

Earlier this month, an appeals court lowered her bail from $2 million to $250,000 and required her to wear an ankle monitor, saying her charge did not justify such a high bond.

(Editing by Paul Thomasch and Xavier Briand)