Updated 03/06/2012 11:35 PM
Judge Denies Reduced Bail For Woman Accused Of Running UES Brothel
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An Orange County woman remained behind bars after being denied a bail reduction in court Tuesday on charges she ran a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring out of an Upper East Side apartment for more than a decade.
Anna Gristina, 44, pleaded not guilty last month to promoting prostitution in the third degree.
During her court appearance, Gristina's attorney asked a judge to lower her $2 million bail saying she needs to take care of her four children.
Photo courtesy of DNAinfo.com
The judge refused, calling Gristina a flight risk.
Prosecutors also claim Gristina has wealthy business associates who would help her out in an effort to make the case go away.
The charges stem from accusations Gristina made millions of dollars running a high-end brothel out of an East 78th Street apartment for about 15 years.
They say she was recorded on surveillance tape saying she has "connections in law enforcement" who would help her out if she came under scrutiny, especially in 2008 when an investigation in another prostitution ring brought down now-former Governor Eliot Spitzer.
One of Gristina's lawyers denied a claim that minors were involved in any of the alleged sexual encounters.
"I ask every man here to reflect upon themselves. Whether they themselves or anybody that they know has ever utilized the services of an escort. I think it's hypocrisy, and what I despise more than the promotion of prostitution and despise more than human trafficking is hypocrisy," said defense attorney Peter Gleason.
Gristina's attorneys did not outright deny she was running an escort service, but did say she was developing a business that would rival dating site Match.com.
"She has some legitimate business interests that they are trying to make like she is doing something wrong," said private investigator Vincent Parco.
The Manhattan district attorney's Official Corruption Unit, which prosecutes cases involving police or other uniformed workers, built the case during a five-year investigation.
If convicted, Gristina could face up to seven years in prison.