Sentencing day for 'Manhattan Madam'

'Manhattan Madam' sentenced

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Anna Gristina, the 'Manhattan Madam,' was sentenced to time served and probation.  (Manhattan Criminal Court, Nov. 20, 2012) Anna Gristina, the 'Manhattan Madam,' was sentenced to time served and probation. (Manhattan Criminal Court, Nov. 20, 2012)
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Anna Gristina, the so-called Manhattan madam, was sentenced Tuesday to time served and probation for her conviction of one count of promoting prostitution in the third degree and then released.

Gristina, dressed in a sweater and corduroy pants, ran past photographers as she entered Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday morning for her appearance before Judge Juan Merchan.

Gristina's six-month sentence was expected as part of a plea deal that included time served.

"This was the best outcome for the family. We didn't want this thing to drag on with the kids," Gristina's husband told reporters outside the courthouse.

The 45-year-old mother of four from Monroe, New York served four months on Rikers Island before her release on $250,000 bond in June.

Gristina was accused of running a high-end prostitution ring out of an apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side and arranging a liaison between two women and an undercover police officer in 2011.

Gristina repeatedly denied the charges and accused prosecutors of keeping her in jail to pressure her to give up the names of her wealthy clients. She had apparently boasted of having high-placed connections and influence, the D.A.'s office said, but after investigating prosecutors did not find evidence to support any of her claims.

Gristina had said her business was simply a matchmaking service that catered to wealthy men, many of whom were married.

But she has since admitted his guilt in her plea. She said on the record that she "knowingly advanced and profited from prostitution by managing, supervising, controlling, and owning a prostitution business and enterprise involving prostitution activity by two or more prostitutes" and that she "arranged, through a series of phone calls, text messages, and at least one face-to-face meeting ... with two prostitutes [she] employed."

"It was a very difficult decision. It was an open question whether she'd elect to go to trial. She remains convinced that the people prepared to testify against her remain active in the very thing she was convicted," said attorney Norman Pattis.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office issued a statement saying: "There is nothing glamorous about prostitution. 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."

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