Judge Won’t Cut Bail for Woman Accused of Running Brothel

One judge refused to overturn another’s decision after lawyers for a woman accused of running a brothel for wealthy clients on New York’s Upper East Side said her bail was abusive and excessive.

“He gave his reasons in great detail,” Judge Charles Solomon said today at a hearing in Manhattan Criminal Court, referring to Judge Juan Merchan’s earlier ruling. “In my judgment, that decision is not an abuse of discretion.”

Anna Gristina, 44, is being held at Rikers Island after being unable to meet bail conditions, set on March 15, of $1 million in cash or a $2 million bond. Lawyers and Solomon waited almost five hours for her to be transported to the downtown Manhattan courthouse from the jail, during which time no one said they knew where she was.

Gary Greenwald, one of her lawyers, said after the hearing that they will appeal the bail decision to the appellate division of the state court system. He said he expects a ruling within a month.

“I thought the decision was absolutely wrong,” Greenwald told reporters. “The argument about her being a flight risk is just absurd.”

Among his arguments was that a co-defendant, Jaynie Baker, has been freed on $100,000 bail.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Linehan told the judge that the bail was appropriate because she was a “major flight risk.”

Gristina, who is Scottish, is a British subject who lives with her family, including a 9-year-old son, in Monroe, New York. She entered and left the courtroom in handcuffs, dressed in gray slacks and a black and white print blouse. She has been charged with one count of promoting prostitution.

In an earlier hearing today before Merchan, Greenwald said he planned to submit a motion to compel the district attorney’s office to release documents in the case, including wiretapping records.

The case is People v. Gristina, 12-00751, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

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