Anna Gristina fights back, accuses DA of near-extortion
The so-called "Soccer Mom Madam" struck back against prosecutors Tuesday alleging that the Manhattan district attorney's office all but extorted her to get information on her supposedly high-powered clientele, according to court documents filed Tuesday by her defense.
In a motion asking for a dismissal of the case, Anna Gristina's attorney claimed prosecutors indicted the mother of four only after she declined to name five alleged johns when she was arrested, calling the case a "vindictive prosecution."
The motion came just hours after the appeals court slashed her bail from $2 million to $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash, along with a requirement to wear an ankle bracelet, a huge break for Gristina after multiple failed attempts to get the bail lowered.
"This is no ordinary vice prosecution," her attorney, Norm Pattis, wrote in the filing, which amNewYork obtained. Pattis added that the Manhattan DA's investigators committed "egregious prosecutorial misconduct" during Gristina's February arrest. The DA's office declined to comment on the allegations.
Pattis further alleged that during the questioning immediately after Gristina's arrest, investigators told her that she didn't need an attorney despite her request for one, and implied that it would help her situation if she named five men they thought were connected to the ring.
"Clearly, the People believe Mrs. Gristina controls access to ... information on corrupt law enforcement officials and court officers. They have, accordingly, shown a willingness to use clandestine, possibly illegal tactics to get it," Pattis wrote.
Still, Pattis said he was pleased that the bail was lowered, though it may be a struggle for Gristina to raise they money.
"We're one step closer to home," Pattis told Reuters.
Gristina, 44, was arrested in February after a five-year investigation and charged with promoting prostitution for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring out of an Upper West Side apartment for the past 10 years. She has been jailed at Rikers since her arrest.