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Hot dog vendor gets week in jail for prostitution

Catherina Scalia inside Nassau County District Court in

Catherina Scalia inside Nassau County District Court in Hempstead. Scalia, the East Rockaway woman who ran a prostitution business out of a hot dog vending truck, was sentenced to seven days in jail today. (June 18, 2012) Credit: Barry Sloan

A hot dog vendor who moonlighted as a prostitute was sentenced to 7 days in jail Monday for soliciting a Nassau police officer, and then released with time served.

Catherina Scalia, 45, of East Rockaway, pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor prostitution before Judge Anthony Paradiso in First District Court in Hempstead.

She was handcuffed and removed from the courtroom Monday. But prosecutors said she was released from the courthouse about an hour later after receiving credit for five days she served last month.

Scalia told the judge in May that she was "stripping" when she was arrested. When he asked again if she had engaged in an act of prostitution, she said "yes" and giggled.

Even after pleading guilty to prostitution, she denied committing a "sexual act" and said all she offered after-hours was stripping and lap dances in her East Rockaway home for a $100 fee.

"I'm innocent," she said Monday outside the courtroom. "I really didn't do anything wrong. If male strippers can do it, then so can the females."

Scalia received a psychological evaluation after her arrest, and she told Paradiso Monday that she will comply with its recommendations.

If she does not comply, she could be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail, Paradiso said.

Police said in May that an officer went to Scalia's truck parked off Sunrise Highway in Baldwin, bought two hot dogs and asked about business cards on the counter offering stripteases and other sexually oriented services.

Scalia told him to call her, and that she could go to his house or he could go to hers, police said.

The officer went to Scalia's home that night, police said. Court records say she offered to entertain the officer and perform a sex act for $150.

Scalia, who appeared in court with a Sabrett hot dog sign tucked into her waistband, was made to stop selling hot dogs last month after admitting she does not have a peddler's license.

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