NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The suburban mom accused of earning millions of dollars by selling sex to wealthy clients is back home after spending months at Rikers Island.
Anna Gristina, the so-called “Upper East Side Madam,” looked tired and overwhelmed by cameras as she walked out of Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday with her attorney and family by her side.
Minutes earlier, her husband and 9-year-old son arrived at the courthouse with flowers in hand.
“No comment, no comment right now,” her husband Kelvin Gorr said to reporters.
In February, prosecutors charged Gristina with a single count of promoting prostitution after getting a tip alleging she was running a high-priced prostitution ring that racked up millions of dollars in profits out of an apartment on East 78th Street.
But Gristina has said she was running a legitimate dating service, admitting that many of her clients were married. She also denied that she has money stashed away, saying she can’t even meet her monthly bills.
Gristina was released from Rikers Island after finally reaching a deal over her bail package. Her bond was dropped from $2 million to $250,000 and the deal requires her to wear an ankle monitoring device and check in every month in person and every week by phone with Ira Judelson, a high-stakes bail bondsman who also handled Domique Strauss-Kahn’s bail.
“She was very grateful, she couldn’t believe that she was out,” said Judelson. “She thanked me up and down, she kissed me, her son came down to see her. She was very nervous, she was a very nervous woman, she is kind of shocked she was out. “
Judelson said Gristina’s family put up property for her bond. Her husband also solicited donations online.
Her attorney Norman Pattis called her release from jail after 19 weeks the best day of her life.
“The second best day will be when we walk out of this courtroom and hear a verdict of not guilty,” he said.
Pattis also said she’s especially happy to be reunited with her son, who has suffered medical issues since her arrest 19 weeks ago.
“His mother came home to him and I think for him, it’s been very terrifying wondering when she would be back,” he said. “I didn’t really watch as they were reunited. It’s really between a mother and a son. Nothing should stand between that and we’re grateful she’s home.”
Gristina is due back in court in August. Until then, she is allowed to leave her home in Monroe, New York but the GPS ankle bracelet she’s wearing will transmit her location every five seconds.
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