The "Soccer Mom Madam," Anna Gristina, may be back on the streets soon, at least while her case is pending. Back in March, she was arrested and indicted for running a high-end prostitution ring that dated back 15 years. The arrest was the culmination of a five-year investigation.
Because she possessed a British passport, as well as property in Canada, the prosecutor, and the judge, felt that she was a flight risk. Prosecutors say that they have a recording of her promising to flee the country if she ever runs into criminal trouble, reports the New York Daily News.
The Daily News previously reported that she fled to Montreal in 2008 when she felt that the authorities might be closing in on her, so the idea that she might try it again wasn't exactly wild speculation.
However, the appeals court was not convinced. While a judge has discretion in such matters as bail and what evidence to allow at trial, their power is not limitless. When they go beyond the bounds of their power, as the judge did here, the appeals court will overrule the "abuse of discretion."
The appeals court found that a $2 million bail was abusive. Though some outlets, including the Daily News have said that she made as much as $10 million over the last fifteen years, her finances apparently are not in great shape. According to the Huffington Post, her husband set up a website to get donations for bail money, and there was even discussion over her lawyer possibly fronting the cash.
Now, however, she'll only have to come up with either $250,000 or $125,000 for bail. The smaller amount is contingent on wearing a home monitoring device.
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- Morgan Stanley Broker Identified with Upper East Side Madame (FindLaw's New York Criminal Law Blog)
- Exposed: British mother turned Manhattan madam poses naked with third husband as friends back home reveal she boasted of 'building an empire' (The Daily Mail)
- Prostitution (FindLaw)