"Soccer Mom Madam" sentenced in New York to time served

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 20, 2012 2:30 PM
"Soccer Mom Madam" sentenced in New York to time served

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Manhattan madam Anna Gristina was sentenced in state Supreme Court to time served on Tuesday, bringing a quiet end to a case that had generated lurid headlines in the New York media.

The suburban mother of four was arrested in February after a five-year investigation involving wiretaps and charged with one count of promoting prostitution for allegedly operating a high-end brothel out of a Manhattan apartment.

Prosecutors said at the time that she was captured on tape bragging of her connections inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the police department, fueling speculation that her arrest could lead to a wider scandal.

But prosecutors were unable to substantiate her boasts, leaving a simple prostitution case that nevertheless generated some bizarre moments. Nine different defense lawyers appeared in connection with the case, including one who offered to put up his apartment as collateral for her bail.

The "Soccer Mom Madam," as she was known in the tabloids, pleaded guilty in September in exchange for a sentence that would credit the four months she spent in jail after her arrest. As part of her plea, she admitted arranging a tryst between two prostitutes and a man who turned out to be an undercover police officer, according to court documents.

At her appearance on Tuesday before Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, Gristina declined to say anything before her sentence was imposed.

"It's probably better, Your Honor, that I don't," she said.

Gristina could face deportation to her native Scotland after her conviction on a crime of moral turpitude. Her lawyer, Norman Pattis, said they have not heard from immigration authorities but were prepared to fight, adding that "enough is enough."

Manhattan district attorney spokeswoman Erin Duggan said in a statement, "Anna Gristina rented women's bodies for profit, which makes her a pimp. That also makes her a felon, and the court has now issued that judgment. She has no one to blame but herself for her decisions."

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)