Scottish madame arrested for commanding US vice ring to appeal conviction

Anna Gristina, who spent four months in custody on Rikers Island, claims she once refused to send a woman to Jeffrey Epstein.

A Scottish madam is trying to get her conviction overturned for running a chain of luxury vices in New York.

Anna Gristina, 55, whose high-profile clients have included movie stars, billionaires and politicians, was arrested following an FBI undercover operation in 2012.

She served four months on remand at the notorious Rikers Island Prison.

According to prosecutors, Gristina, who grew up in Kirkliston, West Lothian, earned £6m operating a prostitution ring catering to wealthy and influential men on the Upper East Side.

Gristina pleaded guilty to one charge of promoting prostitution and received a sentence of five years probation and time served.

Today she lives in a modest home in upstate New York, tending pigs and writing children’s books.

Last year, she said in an interview that she once turned down an offer to send some of her employees to spend time with billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who in 2019 committed suicide in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. .

She told the interviewer: ‘I did a little research and my friend told me to stay away. Had I known more at the time, I would have reported him.

Anna Gristina walks out of Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on June 26, 2012. Accused Manhattan Madam Gristina, a suburban mother of four who, prosecutors say, ran a highly profitable brothel out of a Manhattan apartment, has been released out on bail Tuesday after four months in prison.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEADSHOT CRIMINAL LAW)

Anna Gristina leaves the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York on June 26, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

The mother of four now claims that she did, in fact, run a dating service and never forced any of her employees to perform a sexual act on any of her customers.

She says her guilty plea was coerced and is determined to have her conviction overturned.

His legal team filed suit against the judge who presided over his case in 2012, seeking the release of the court transcripts.

Although her request was denied last year, Gristina has now taken the matter to the US Court of Appeals in hopes of gaining access to the unsealed court records, which she believes will allow her to make a ‘meaningful motion’ to challenge her confession to fault. .

Lawrence LaBrew, the attorney representing Gristina, said: ‘Our position is that the minutes should not remain sealed.

“She wants to make a motion to void judgment in her case and she needs those minutes so the defense can make an informed decision on how to proceed with that motion.

“The allegation is that she was coerced into pleading guilty. To find out what exactly was going on and who said what, we need the minutes.

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