NBC New York
A lawyer for a suburban mother of four charged with running a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring in Manhattan says she was working on building an online dating service.Anna Gristina, of Monroe, was briefly in court Tuesday in her prostitution case. Katy Tur reports..
The family of the accused madam of a multimillion-dollar Manhattan prostitution ring is asking the public for help in raising money to get their mother and wife out of jail.
The family of Anna Gristina, 44, has set up a website in an effort to raise $2 million to bail her out of jail.
A note on the homepage of helpanna.org states it isn't "fair" for Gristina to remain in jail while she waits for her case to be heard.
"Our small family cannot afford the huge bail amount set for her – two million dollars!" the note says. "We are hoping that you will donate to help us pay for her bail, so she can live at home before the trail. We need our Mom here. Without her, part of our family’s life is missing."
The website features a slideshow of Gristina with her young children and her husband, as well as with rescue pigs.
The site also features a section called "The Injustice," detailing Gristina's allegedly "horrific" jail conditions, and a section called "Anna's Charities" that describes her reported animal rescue efforts.
The "Help & Donate" page of the website says, "Your donation today will go towards the bail fund for Anna Gristina-Gorr," and, "On behalf on Anna Gristina-Gorr, and her husband and children, thank you for your contributions."
The suburban mother has pleaded not guilty to a low-level felony charge of promoting prostitution.
Prosecutors say she ran a brothel for 15 years and claimed to have law enforcement connections. They say she was heard during their five-year investigation saying she'd made millions of dollars.
Prosecutors asked for the $2 million bond, saying they believe Gristina has the money and mindset to flee.
Her lawyers say she was starting a dating service and have made repeated bids to lower her bond. One of them, Peter Gleason, offered his own $2.5 million Tribeca loft as security and said Gristina and her family could move in with him.
Prosecutors opposed the request, saying it raised ethical questions.
Gristina has since switched lawyers.
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