So, last night there were news trucks on my block as I arrived home. Turns out that a few doors down a woman was running a brothel. I had no idea.
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A mother of four made millions running an Upper East Side brothel and is now sitting in Rikers Island jail on a $2 million bond after a five-year investigation by the DA’s public corruption unit, according to stunning court documents obtained by DNAinfo.com.
Anna Gristina, 44, was indicted on Feb. 22 by a Manhattan grand jury on a single charge of promoting prostitution and was arrested while meeting with a Morgan Stanley banker who she’d been trying to convince to help her expand her empire online, according to court documents.
Gristina, who prosecutors claim to have on tape admitting she made millions in 15 years as a madam, was hit with the hefty bail after the DA’s office claimed that her network of wealthy male clients and associates, combined with a home in Canada and British passport, made her a flight risk.
At her Feb. 23 arraignment in front of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, prosecutors said the public corruption unit had nearly a hundred hours of audio and video surveillance that showed Gristina had been providing prostitutes — including some who were underage — to a slew of powerful men out of an apartment on East 78th Street, according to a transcript.
Prosecutors said the alleged madam had even bragged during the Eliot Spitzer investigation that she had a network of law enforcement sources poised to tip her off if her business was being watched, according to the documents.
The rest of the details and a picture of the building here.
When I left for work at 6:40am, the news trucks were there—seemingly having stayed overnight on a stakeout. It looked like one guy was stretched out vertically sleeping in one of the trucks. Talk about uncomfortable and extreme. I asked the beautiful reporter on the street which building it was and she briefly interviewed me. I distinctly remember there being several occasions where I’d see couples making out outside the door she pointed out. I always thought they just looked really in love. It was always beautiful women. I never suspected anything. And, who knows, maybe I just saw actual couples who live in that building too! But that’s all I had to tell the reporter. If a clip of me makes the news that would be it.
But then it was upsetting to learn eventually that there were some underage girls there. So this went beyond prostitution to clear rape and exploitation. So now I hope even more that the women and girls have not already had their lives severely damaged by this and I hope the unscrupulous madam and the powerful male clientele are duly punished. Think the men actually will be? Apparently there is nearly 100 hours of surveillance audio and videotape.