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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

‘Madam’ Anna Gristina freed

Accused Upper East Side madam Anna Gristina walked out of jail and into the arms of her family yesterday after finally scraping together the collateral for a $250,000 bail bond.

“Thank you, everybody,” Gristina told reporters as she walked out of Manhattan Criminal Court shortly after 9 p.m., pony-tailed and blinking in the camera lights, her arm locked tight around her youngest kid, 9-year-old Nick.

The boy presented his mom with a bouquet of red roses; bail bondsman Ira Judelson presented her with a court-mandated ankle-bracelet monitor that will let her travel in the tristate area.

“I just can’t believe I’m home,” she exclaimed later, after entering her upstate house. “I keep thinking I’m going to wake up tomorrow and I’ll be in Rikers.”

Gristina had been at Rikers Island since prosecutors pulled her screaming off a Midtown street in February, unable to make her initial bail of $2 million and struggling to post a bond even when appellate judges lowered it two weeks ago to a $250,000.

“She kept saying, ‘Is it really true? Is it really true?’ ” Gristina’s lawyer, Norm Pattis, told The Post of the moment she learned she was finally making bond.

“Moments like that are why you go to law school.”

Pattis and Gristina faced the microphones briefly before the family drove off to their 200-acre pig-rescue farm in upstate Monroe.

“The nightmare of her bond ends today, and trial preparation begins tomorrow morning,” Pattis said.

Judelson — who has posted bonds for Lil Wayne and Dominique Strauss-Kahn — said Gristina’s bracelet will allow her to visit her lawyer in Connecticut and court in lower Manhattan.

“I don’t want her going to Queens, near any of the airports, but I feel she’s not a flight risk,” Judelson said. “She wants to be home with her 9-year-old.”

Gristina had been scrambling to put together a bail package since June 18, ever since booting her “family lawyer,” Peter Gleason, because she felt the $250,000 collateral he personally was offering to provide came with too many strings attached. They included his insistence on guiding her media and legal decisions, multiple sources have told The Post.

Gristina, who’s charged with promoting prostitution, almost posted bail later last week, but a package secured by collateral provided by some of her in-laws fell through.

The current bond is collateralized by properties owned by a friend of the family, Judelson said.

Prosecutors say Gristina’s Manhattan-based, $2,000-an-hour call-girl ring made $15 million over the last decade — and operated with the guidance and protection of powerful johns and unspecified members of law enforcement.

They’ve flipped her alleged money launderer and two of her alleged call girls to bolster their five-year investigation, which has yet to haul a single john or lawman to court.

Gristina counters that she ran a dating service for married men — and that prosecutors have promised to go easy if she rats on her well-placed collaborators or clients, which she has refused to do.


1 comment:

  1. To the young man and his family who courageously stood up for "tzedek," and who came face to face with evil: As a teacher who, regrettably, once worked at Torah Temimah with this molester, I apologize to you. On behalf of all the justice-seekers and G-d fearing people who are watching from the sidelines, I apologize. On behalf of all the caring, concerned rebbies and teachers whose hearts scream in pain for not knowing and for not protecting you, I apologize. Some of us watch in silence, some are not so silent, but we are all so very, very sorry for your pain, and so utterly horrified by the terrible injustice perpetrated by the molester, by his enablers, and by the so-called "justice system." Despite the ridiculous verdict and despite the distorted conclusions reached by people in positions of power, please know that those of us who understand the reality of what happened to you will continue to support you and fight for all children who have been victimized. You have bravely led the way in refusing to be intimidated, and for that we admire your resolve and are most grateful. All of us have learned a lot from you, so please don't look at this latest setback as a loss, but rather as just one part of a very difficult and challenging obstacle course. It is a road of rough hurdles that will ultimately serve to illuminate the corruption and hypocrisy within the broken yeshiva system and willfully ignorant communities. It will highlight what must be done to prevent what happened to you from happening to other innocent children. We are all learning, thanks to your courage and refusal to back down, to protect our families against abuse. Yesterday, despite the years of shameful cover-up and lack of transparency, you proved that you have what it takes to confront evil. May we all learn from you! You are a remarkable young man! Indeed, you are my new hero, and you are a hero to many who are cheering you from the sidelines. Your parents, surely, are to be admired and commended, too! Congratulations for doing the right thing. Let us all continue to fight the fight......