Prosecutors: Monroe woman ran multimillion dollar prostitution ring
Shock, in a Monroe neighborhood, after a woman living in the area is charged with promoting prostitution. Our Venise Toussaint has the details.
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MONROE, N.Y. -- People in a quite Monroe Neighborhood are left in shock after a neighbor is jailed for running a prostitution ring in New York City.
“I was totally shocked because nothing like that happens around here, nothing” said one woman.
Prosecutors say Anna Gristina, a mother of 4, raked in millions operating a high end brothel in this Upper East Side apartment for more than a decade. Her alleged clients all very wealthy men.
During a 5 year investigation, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office captured hours of audio and video surveillance; in one clip they say Gristina is heard saying she has “connections to law enforcement” who would help her if she came under scrutiny.
“I'm shocked but in this day and age how shocking can it be?” said a woman living nearby.
Gristina's home sits atop a secluded road, barely visible from the main road, hidden behind the woods. Gristina is in prison, charged with promoting prostitution.
“I’m surprised that such a thing happened in this neighborhood”, a neighbor said.
Gristina pleaded not guilty to the charges saying she was developing an online dating site. He lawyer denies that underage girls were involved in any of the alleged sexual encounters.
“ I would not be standing here if I thought there were any children involved in this case” said Defense Attorney, Peter Gleason.
During her court appearance, Gristina's attorney asked the judge to lower her $2 million dollar bail saying she needed to take care of her four children. The judge denied bail; calling Gristina a flight risk.
“ I feel sorry for her family I really do”, a neighbor said.
If convicted, Gristina could face up to seven years in Prison.