Anna Gristina lawyer warns Baker against turning on 'Monroe Madam'
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The lawyer for the accused "Millionaire Madam" from Monroe on Wednesday warned co-defendant Jaynie Mae Baker of dire consequences if she turns state's evidence against his client, Anna Gristina.
"If she turns on Anna, I'll turn on her," attorney Norman Pattis said in a telephone interview.
At the same time, Pattis said he is unaware of any evidence Baker could provide that would damage the defense of Gristina, a 44-year-old suburban mother of four.
Baker, 30, who was accused of working as a recruiter for a high-end Manhattan call-girl operation run by Gristina, has agreed to enter a guilty plea, according to published reports.
Baker, of Brooklyn, declined to comment after being reached by telephone and referred questions to her lawyer. Her attorney, Robert Gottlieb, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Neither Baker nor Gottlieb will appear at a court hearing Thursday, Pattis said, leading him to suspect that she has worked out a plea deal.
"It means more work for me," Pattis said, adding that he had hoped to mount a joint defense with Gottlieb.
A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment.
Thursday's hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court is expected to be devoted to pretrial and discovery motions, leading to further hearings or a trial date.
Gristina, a Scotland native, returned to her home in Orange County in June wearing an electronic ankle bracelet after more than four months at Rikers Island. She was freed after prosecutors cut her bail from $2 million to $250,000, with a cash option of $125,000.
Gristina has pleaded not guilty to promoting prostitution and characterized her business as a dating service. She faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Gristina, who rescues potbellied pigs, was arrested Feb. 22.
A subtext of the Gristina case involves the identities of the high-end clients catered to by the alleged call-girl operation. Pattis filed an affidavit charging that prosecutors were trying to pressure Gristina to provide information on five clients, including a financier and a lawyer.
With The Associated Press