NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has refused to dismiss the case against Anna Gristina, the suburban mom accused of earning millions of dollars by selling sex to wealthy clients.
The judge rejected the bid by the defense as Gristina appeared in court Thursday. Calling the case simple and straight forward, the judge said he expects a relatively short trial.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports
“This is a very narrow issue, and we’re going to keep this trial very focused. I’m not going to just allow this thing to get out of hand,” Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan said.
Her trial date has been set for Oct. 15.
But in trying to get the case dismissed, Gristina’s attorney Norman Pattis wrote that the DA’s office “vindictively prosecuted her as a result of her failure to cooperate 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’d let her go if she gave them information about five men — not named in her filings, but described as a financier, an international banker and a member of a politically connected family, among others.
1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports
The DA’s office countered in court papers that Gristina “has not produced a shred of evidence of actual vindictiveness.”
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.
She has been free on bail since June after finally reaching a deal over her bail package. She had spent 19 weeks behind bars on Rikers Island.
On Tuesday, her alleged accomplice Jaynie Mae Baker reportedly reached a plea deal in the case.
“People do what they need to do to stay free,” Pattis said Thursday. “If Jaynie Mae has taken a deal of some sort because she feels that’s in her interest, that’s her right.”
Baker was also set to be in court Thursday, but her appearance was postponed.
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