Monroe Madam Anna Gristina sentenced to probation, time served
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Accused Monroe Madam Anna Gristina, who pleaded guilty in September to a charge that she promoted prostitution, was sentenced Tuesday morning to time already served in jail -- with an additional five years' probation.
Even before Gristina could leave court, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. released a statement calling her "a pimp" -- leading to verbal barbs from her attorney, Norman Pattis.
"There is nothing glamorous about prostitution," Vance said in his statement Tuesday. "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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Both Gristina, 44, and Pattis seemed surprised by the statement, with Pattis saying, "When are they [prosecutors] going to apologize to Ms. Gristina for the allegations they made in court that they were never able to prove?"
The reference was to the widely publicized suggestion from prosecutors that Gristina, a mother from Monroe, had run a high-stakes prostitution ring serving a list of wealthy clients and law enforcement accomplices. That depiction of Gristina was never backed up with evidence.
"Who's the real pimp?" Pattis said. "Cyrus Vance? Sounds like it to me." Pattis then added, "That he [Vance] would resort to name-calling is outrageous."
Gristina was arrested last winter and held in lieu of $2 million bail for four months as prosecutors tried to get her to reveal more information about prostitution. She refused to cooperate and later told reporters she had no information to give.
Released from jail in June after an appeals court ordered her bail reduced, Gristina pleaded guilty in September to a charge that she had arranged a single appointment with prostitutes for an undercover detective.
It was not clear whether the feds will now attempt to deport Gristina, a British citizen.
"I'd like to think the people at ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will say enough is enough," Pattis said after court. "They've taken more than a pound of flesh. To now deprive her children of her society would be an outrage."
Pattis said he was prepared to litigate any attempt to deport his client.
Her husband, Kelvin Gorr, said his wife didn't want to plead guilty to the charges against her.
"It was the best outcome for the family," he said. "We didn't want this to drag on ... It's a sense of relief. We move on."
On Tuesday, the judge at her sentencing asked Gristina whether she wanted to address the court. "It's probably better, your honor, that I don't," she responded.
Handcuffed, Gristina then was led from the courtroom. Pattis said he expected his client to be released within the hour -- and she was.
Gristina was first detained in February. Prosecutors said she was arranging hookups at an apartment on East 78th Street in Manhattan and had been under investigation for five years. They said they had extensive video and audio surveillance in which she claimed to have made millions, with high-level contacts in law enforcement protecting her.
Outside court on Tuesday, Gristina joked, saying: "There's going to be a book. I think the title will be, 'Read It and Weep.' "
Asked what she had learned from her experience with the legal system, she said, "The system is more corrupt than the Mafia."
She said she would donate any profits from a book to animal rescue.
With John Valenti