Jaynie Mae Baker arrives handcuffed with court officers and legal...

Jaynie Mae Baker arrives handcuffed with court officers and legal counsel for her arraignment in State Supreme Court in New York. Baker is accused of working for a high-priced brothel. (Mar. 13, 2012) Credit: AP

A professional matchmaker surrendered in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday and was charged with being a top aide to the upstate mother accused of running a high-end brothel on the Upper East Side.

Jaynie Mae Baker, 30, who was in the Mexican resort of Cabo san Lucas when word leaked last week that she was wanted in connection with the case against alleged madame Anna Gristina, flew back to New York Saturday night to face the charges.

"We have numerous informants over the years who have discussed Ms. Baker's role in the operation," said Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan during her arraignment.

Baker pleaded not guilty to one count of promoting prostitution and was whisked away with her sister in a black limousine after being released on a $100,000 bond. Lawyer Robert Gottlieb said his client's matchmaking was not a front for prostitution.

"She has had legitimate jobs," Gottlieb said. "She's a legitimate matchmaker. There is nothing sordid or wrong or illegal in the jobs she has had."

He also said Baker was active in a range of charitable activities, raising money for Indian children, Romanian orphanages and soup kitchens in New York.

"This is a frightening thing for anyone to go through," Gottlieb said. "This woman is a compassionate, caring and very socially conscious young woman. Allegations are just allegations."

Prosecutors arrested Gristina in late February, after an investigation that they said had lasted five years. On wiretapped phone calls, they said she had bragged of making millions supplying women to wealthy men and of having a contact in law enforcement who warned her of raids and investigations.

The Scottish mother of four, who lives on a pig farm in Monroe, has been held at Riker's Island on a $2 million bond. Prosecutors claim she is a flight risk because of millions of dollars they believe she has hidden and her asserted connections to law enforcement and wealthy individuals who might want to help her flee.

A hearing to review Gristina's bail is set for Thursday.

The lower bail for Baker reflected an agreement by prosecutors and Gottlieb that Baker had returned to the country and surrendered voluntarily after the district attorney's office took her name off airport watch lists. She was detained briefly at Newark Airport by Customs officers, but the district attorney intervened and had her released, Gottlieb said.

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