Anna Gristina to be sentenced on prostitution charges

Anna Gristina exits Manhattan Criminal Court with her Anna Gristina exits Manhattan Criminal Court with her son, Nicholas. (Aug. 16, 2012) Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

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The Monroe mom swept up in a sensational case involving high-priced call girls and their well-to-do clients faces sentencing Tuesday in Manhattan.

Anna Gristina is expected to be sentenced to time already served -- four months on Rikers Island before her release on bail -- on prostitution charges.

Originally, prosecutors portrayed the 45-year-old Gristina as the mastermind behind a prostitution ring that made millions catering to wealthy customers on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The charges she finally faced were less serious. She pleaded guilty to a charge of promoting prostitution by arranging a July 2011 liaison between two women and an undercover police officer.

If convicted at trial, she could have faced as much as seven years in prison.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan said in September that he likely will sentence Gristina to time served and probation. There's a chance that Gristina still could face deportation to her native Scotland.

Her lawyer, Norman Pattis, could not be reached for comment.

Until her guilty plea, Gristina repeatedly denied the charges and accused prosecutors of keeping her at Rikers in hopes of forcing her to give up the names of wealthy clients, including a prominent banker, a financier and a lawyer.

"I have nothing to give them," she said during a jailhouse interview that aired on NBC's "Today" show in June. "That's why I'm still here."

The mother of four returned home in June after an appellate court accused Merchan of an "abuse of discretion" and reduced her $2 million bail to $250,000.

Since then, her movements have been monitored with the aid of an electronic device fastened to an ankle.

The website helpanna.org, created by supporters to seek funds for her legal defense, does not appear to have been updated recently. It highlights Gristina's work with the Pig Placement Network, keeping potbellied pigs from slaughter.

"Oftentimes, people buy pigs as pets, but once the novelty wears off, the poor pigs are abandoned," the site reads. "Anna and her organization provide food and health care for the animals, and find them loving homes. Without the help of Anna, many animals would be left out in the cold."

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